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MGM Mirage’s Monte Carlo Casino is scheduled to re-open on Friday February 15, almost three weeks after being forced to close due to a fire atop the resort on January 25. The re-opening will be on time for the American Presidents Day holiday weekend.

The fire forced the hotel to transfer its guests to different resorts following an evacuation of over 5000 people. The resort’s reservations for the past two weeks have been honored by other MGM Mirage properties. 1000 employees were also evacuated, and there was a temporary shutdown of Las Vegas Boulevard while fire crews attempted to contain the blazing fire. No one was injured.

Careless construction workers of Union Erectors were blamed by county fire inspectors for starting the fire. Apparently welders were using a torch to cut corrugated steel for a rooftop walkway when molten metal somehow became airborne and created the blaze. Flammable foam, used as a cheap brick and mortar replacement for exterior design, was what caused the fire to move very quickly. Fire inspectors suggested that the construction company failed to take the necessary safety measures that could have prevented the fire from occurring in the first place. This has been disputed by the contractors, saying that they “follow mandated safety procedures on every job.”

Around 120 Clark County firefighters were supported by the valley’s emergency help as they extinguished the fire as efficiently as possible. Their response to the blaze has been commended by Clark County Commissioner Rory Reid as being impressively swift: the first fire suppression teams arrived at Monte Carlo within three minutes of the alarm sounding. The people in these teams were honored a few days ago for their quick response and bravery once atop the casino. Apparently they had seen smoke rising above the casino even before the alarm had gone off, giving them extra time to race to their equipment.

1200 of the hotel’s total 3000 rooms will be available on Friday, with 1300 more re-opening the following week. The remaining 500 rooms, located on the upper floors, received significant water damage from firefighters and will be unavailable indefinitely while they undergo reconstruction.

None of the resort’s other features received any damage from the fire, and the majority of them will be re-opened on Friday. This includes the casino, the meeting and convention facilities, the wedding chapel, the spa and salon, and the Lance Burton Theatre. The buffet and the brew pub could be opened if there is enough demand.