Mgm Grand Fire

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MGM Grand Fire

MGM Grand Fire


The great fire at the MGM Grand was a fire that occurred in 1980 at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino (now known as Bally's Las Vegas) in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, killing 85 people, most from smoke inhalation. It was the worst in the history of Naveda, and in modern history it was the Second worst hotel fire that had occurred (Hall, 2006).

Design and Construction

The MGM Grand Hotel was a 23 story hotel and casino facility located at the intersection of East Flamingo Road and Las Vegas Boulevard, currently in use as Bally's Casino. The hotel consisted of 21 stories of guest rooms situated above two non-hotel stories- a double main level and casino and an interstitial space used for gaming floor security (Buerk, Batdorf, et al. 1982). The floors were numbered with an alternative numbering system used by the MGM Grand owners. Immediately adjacent to the casino and performance areas on the first floor to the east were a series of restaurants, clustered in the central portion of the building. 

Construction on the building broke ground during 1972 and it was ultimately opened to the public in December of 1973. The building consisted of different construction types of varying efficacy with respect to fire protection. The hotel floors were resistant to fire and utilized a steel framing members which were protected by gypsum wall board (GWB) and reinforced concrete. Partitions were constructed from steel studs and GWB. The casino and interstitial levels were more sparsely protected; in some instances partitions did not fully extend above ceilings, an intention by the HVAC designer (NFPA, 1982).

Fire Origin

Based on investigations by the Clark County Fire Department (CCFD) and the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), several likely causes were identified for the MGM Grand Hotel fire.  On the most superficial level, the most likely source of the fire was: “Heat produced in the west wall partition of The Deli serving station as a result of electoral short-circuiting (a ground-fault) of an ungrounded electrical circuit conductor to a flexible metal conduit… The wiring was an extension of original wiring in the serving station and provided power to the refrigerator compressor unit and evaporator fan of a pie case located on the north wall of the station“(NFPA, 1982). This condition was caused by three prime factors- improper grounding, improper installation, and galvanic action.


The fire was caused by an electrical fault in a ceiling. The wiring inside the wall was ...
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