How the Las Vegas MGM Grand Fire 41 years ago changed fire codes and standards

  • Source: Jensen Hughes
  • Published: 11/22/2021 12:00 AM

Las Vegas’s MGM Grand Hotel and Casino fire, which occurred on November 21, 1980, killed 85 people and injured 700 more. The fire, caused by an electrical fault associated with a refrigerated pastry display case, originated in an unoccupied restaurant on the casino’s first floor. The fire was discovered by hotel staff early in the morning when, by that time, it had evolved to open flaming and was increasing in size and intensity. Soon after that, the fire reached flashover condition and spread rapidly across the casino floor. Within approximately 15 minutes after the fire was discovered, the entire casino was involved in the fire. The fire was limited to the first-floor casino, however, smoke spread vertically into the hotel tower floors. The casino was not protected with automatic sprinklers or automatic fire detection and alarm system.


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