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1980 MGM Fire and Fire Codes - Case Study Example

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The MGM Grand Hotel of Las Vegas, Nevada met one of the deadliest hotel fires in the history of America on November 21, 1980 that killed 84 people and injured another 679. This tragic incident proved to be a lesson for all the hotel managements …
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1980 MGM Fire and Fire Codes

Download file to see previous pages... Fig.1 shows the site plan of the hotel. It had 26 floors designed luxuriously. Ground floor had the Casino, restaurants, showrooms and a convention center and upper level of the jai alai fronton. The below grade level had the lower level of the jai alai fronton, a movie theatre, several shops and boutiques, service areas, and underground parking. There were 2076 guest rooms and another 780 guest rooms under construction on the west side of the building. Hotel structure had fire-resistive, protected non-combustible and unprotected non-combustible segments. Both combustible and non-combustible materials were used for interior finish. Fire sprinklers were installed only in some major portions and every area was not protected for fire. Part of the 26th floor, the arcade level, convention areas, showrooms and some restaurants on the casino level were protected while the casino and tower were not protected with fire sprinklers. A manual fire alarm system was present in the hotel. The guest room floors had manual pull stations. The alarm system had bells and public address capability. There was no automatic detection system installed in the building (National Fire Protection Association, 1980)....
Security tried to put off the fire but it was so huge that the Clark County fire department had to be contacted at around 7.15 a.m. (National Fire Protection Association, 1980). Fig.2 and Fig. 3 shows the fire magnitude at MGM Grand.

Fig. 2 ("MGM", 2008) The MGM Grand - view from the corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Flamingo Rd

Fig 3 ("MGM", 2008) The MGM Grand Fire - looking toward North-East from I-15
According to the fire department fire broke out due to an electrical problem in a combustible covered space next to a pie case in the restaurant. Presence of combustible interior finish and other material like plywood, plastic, paper, wooden decorative members and foam plastic padding of chairs and booths in the Deli helped fire spread very quickly and reach an uncontrollable magnitude. There was no protection in the path for the fire to spread to the Casino. Combustible interior finish, furnishings, other wooden and plastic materials like foam padding and moldings present in the Casino put in more fuel in the fire. Flow of air was also enough for the fire to inflate (National Fire Protection Association, 1980).
Within 15 minutes of its detection fire had swallowed up a huge area including the Deli, the Casino and porte cocher on the west end of the building. Heat and smoke rising to the upper floors notified guests of the problem on the ground floors. Helicopters, fire fighters, construction workers and passersby were able to save many people. People who tried their way out through roofs and other exits were rescued while others waited in their rooms for help. Hotel was evacuated completely in 4 hours. 84 people died in the tragic incident. 14 people died on the Casino level, 29 in rooms, 21 in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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