People around the country turned on the national news Thursday to witness a frightening scene: the top four floors of the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas were engulfed in flames and heavy black smoke.Early word was that workers were trapped on the roof.Pieces of burning foam fell to lower floors, starting secondary fires.

Fortunately, when all was said and done, the 120 firefighters who were called to the scene kept the damage to a minimum and nobody was seriously injured.While the fire did get into the building, it was contained primarily to the hotel’s exterior. And although firefighters worked into the afternoon to make sure nothing was still smoldering, the fire was extinguished in an hour.

Interestingly, many guests of the Monte Carlo saw the fire on television before they even heard the alarms.This is because the smoke alarms only sound on the floor where the smoke is detected, the floor above, and the floor below.Because the blaze was at the top of the hotel, many people further down were unaware until Anton Nikodemus, the president of the Monte Carlo, sounded all the alarms and ordered an evacuation.

The hotel and casino will remain closed until the damage is assessed.While much of the property was undamaged, the structural integrity of the building must be checked.Guests were directed to other properties owned by MGM Mirage, which owns the Monte Carlo.

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