| On November
21, 1980, the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, located in
Las Vegas, Nevada, experienced the worst fire in the
United States since the 1946 Winecoff Hotel fire. Originating
in the deli, the fire quickly spread throughout the
casino. Smoke propagated through the egress passageways.
The automatic fire alarm system either did not activate
or did not sound; most guests became aware of the fire
situations after they saw or smelled smoke, heard shouting
from other occupants, or saw or heard the fire department
An investigation into this fire concluded that several
factors contributed to the resulting devastation.
The level of fuels available within the casino, the
building configuration, and the lack of fire–resistant
barriers contributed to the rapid growth and development.
The lack of fire extinguishments at the start of the
fire allowed the fire to develop to a dangerous level.
The vertical openings within the building enabled
smoke to spread with little effort. The means of egress
were compromised by shoddy construction; smoke infiltrated
into the smoke–proof enclosures and stairwells,
as well as through the HVAC system.
This fire resulted in the deaths of 85 people, injuries
to approximately 600, and more than $300 million in
The MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas was not equipped
with a complete sprinkler system and was not required
to be by Nevada law
The MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas reopened
about a year after a November 21, 1980, fire had left
85 dead and 500 injured. Included in the $50 million
reconstruction: An extra $5 million for the very latest
in fire-protection devices. The MGM fire started at
a short circuit in wiring behind a refrigerated pastry
display caseãwiring that had been improperly
installed. It spread unseen in its early stages, thanks
in part to poor construction work and in part to breaches
in firewallsãholes made after the building
went into service, to accommodate new ductwork and
wiring. . It took years to settle the $1 billion in
death and injury claims at MGM.