Things got hot last night at a Las Vegas casino when officials say an overheated ventilation motor caused a smoky smell and an evacuation in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
MGM resorts spokesman Gordon Absher told reporters that employees at Las Vegas’ Excalibur casino evacuated one of the properties four towers after alarms went off around 2 a.m. Tuesday.
“Alarm went off at 2 am in Excalibur. 30 min later they evacuated us. Multiple unknown alarms going off in my hotel tower. Great.,” tweeted @sitarah, a guest at the Excalibur.
"@vegasnewsnow what's going on at the Excalibur? We have been evacuated and there are at least eight fire engines. #Vegas” tweeted another guest, @mikelaurel
Guests were allowed back in to the 28-floor structure two hours later, the Associated Press reports.
While there was no actual fire, officials took extreme precautions after a smoke smell spread via the casino’s ventilation system. Reports indicate that the smoke was drawn from the room and filled three floors in one 1,000-room tower. The tower averages 36 rooms per floor. The machinery was fixed by Tuesday afternoon, according to the AP.
In dealing with customers who might have been inconvenienced by the incident, Absher told reporters, “we will handle this in the normal course of delivering our good customer service," he said. "We'll deal with this on a case by case basis."
Speaking with the Associated Press about his evacuation experience, one guest said management offered to compensate him with a free buffet and refund his hotel room charges.
Dave Ward, who was visiting from Canada, told the wire that he was awoken shortly after 2 a.m. by a phone call from his friend, who had been evacuated.
"I jumped out of bed and looked out the window to see all the emergency response," he said. "So I got dressed and grabbed my essentials and walked out."
Ward added that he smelled burning plastic and saw a haze in the air.
Despite the fact that everyone was safe after the incident, the evacuation brought back memories of two deadly high-rise hotel fires more than 30 years ago. The MGM Grand hotel blaze in November 1980 killed 87 people while an arson fire at the Las Vegas Hilton nearly three months later killed eight people.
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