Following a study ordered by the Clark County Development Services’ Building Division, the Monte Carlo Casino, and Resort in Las Vegas was instructed to work with a Nevada-registered fire protection engineer to determine how to address parts of the building's façade that were treated with a non-fireproofed lamina.
“We wanted to examine the totality of the incident and we
needed to determine if any of the materials contributed or exacerbated the
spread of the fire because they clearly didn't cause it,” Ron Lynn, director of
development for Clark
County, told CPN. “Having
found that there are some relatively minor discrepancies that need to be
addressed including a lamina that wasn’t fireproofed.”
Baltimore-based Hughes Associates Inc. prepared a report for
the Clark County Development Services’ building division to assist in
determining the materials that were involved in the fire and their role.
According to fire investigators, the fire was started on the roof as workers
used a hand-held torch to cut some metal.
Based on tests and analysis by MVA Scientific Consultants, the
lamina in some areas is approximately one to two millimeters thinner than it
should be and some decorative elements do not have lamina encasing the foam.
Lamina is an exterior coating that is made of a basecoat, a layer of fiberglass
mesh, and a top finishing coat, according to the report.
The thin lamina of the EIFS does not comply with manufacturer
guidelines, as required by code. These issues may affect the durability of
these elements but, unlike the use of non-approved resin or other coatings, did
not exacerbate the fire. Tests on the foam showed it was fire retardant, as
required, according to information provided by Clark County.
The analysis also revealed that the wrong kind of resin or
coatings were used on two decorative bands. The resin used there is more
flammable than the approved coatings used elsewhere on the building. This
played no role in how the fire started, but affected how quickly the fire
spread after it reached the decorative bands. In a similar manner, other
coating systems were used that also affected how quickly the fire spread.
“There is no reason to believe that any other structure used
this paint and it was only in the one location on the building,” Lynn said. “We want to
know if any additional precautions need to be taken with this lamina since we
have a dry and hot arid climate.”
Because of these findings, the county is requiring MGM Mirage
Corp. to hire a Nevada-registered fire protection engineer to recommend how to
address the issues noted in the analysis, Dan Kulin, a Clark County
spokesman, told CPN. Although it is too early to say exactly what the
recommendations may be, they could range from painting certain areas to
replacing some decorative pieces.
“We will immediately look into county’s findings. Per the
county’s direction, we will engage a certified analyst to further examine the
materials in question. We will submit any recommendations to the county to
discuss mitigation, if necessary. The Monte Carlo was built 16 years ago by a
previous owner, so we may be able to take advantage of new construction
techniques that were unavailable in 1992,” according to a statement released by
Some rooms on the upper two floors-the high roller suites-are
still under renovation, but should be open by the end of the year, Gordon M.
Absher vice president of public affairs for MGM Mirage, told CPN.
“Prior to the fire, we had scheduled a complete renovation from
head to toe and this simply accelerated the renovations for our high roller
suites. Most of the rooms impacted by the fire are already back in inventory,”
The hotel has 3,002 guest rooms and opened in 1996 at an
original cost of $344 million. A $19 million room renovation was completed in
Hughes Associates Inc. is a global fire protection and
engineering company with consultants, engineers, and fire investigators
specializing in fire-testing, fire modeling, and fire protection design.
More on Monte Carlo Incident
September 23, 2008