VIDEOS/PHOTOS: It was 42 years ago when fire and suffocating smoke raced through the MGM Grand Hotel killing 87 people and injuring more than 600. That tragedy led to sweeping safety changes stretching beyond the Las Vegas Strip.
The fire happened in the original location of the MGM Grand Hotel which is now Bally’s Las Vegas – but soon to be renamed Horseshoe. The electrical fire started in a restaurant creating a fireball that tore through the casino floor and sent smoke and fumes through the ventilation system into the hotel rooms where people were sleeping. Many of the deaths were due to smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning. “It was a major, major fire,” said former Clark County Fire Department Chief Fire Investigator Mike Patterson. “It’s indwelled upon my brain forever.”
Patterson says various factors, including zero sprinklers in the casino, contributed to the deadly aftermath that morning.