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Last Updated: Friday, 25 January 2008, 22:03 GMT
Guests flee Las Vegas hotel fire
Burning hotel
The fire sent smoke billowing over Las Vegas

Guests have been evacuated from a hotel and casino complex in the US city of Las Vegas after a fire broke out on the roof and top floor of the building.

Plumes of smoke billowed from the Monte Carlo hotel on the city's main street, the Strip, but the blaze was quickly contained by firefighters.

The fire broke out at about 1100 (1900 GMT) but the flames were brought under control about an hour later.

No-one is reported to have been injured and the cause is not yet known.

Guests, including a bride in wedding dress, were relocated to nearby hotels.

Tim Szymanski from the Las Vegas Fire Department told the BBC the blaze appeared to be confined to the outside of the building:

"It's a little difficult because... you don't have fire ladders that can reach up to the 32nd floor, they can only go up to about the sixth or seventh floor. The fire appears to be on the exterior of the building, not on the inside," he said.

He added that the building was fully equipped with automatic fire sprinklers.

'Burning debris'

Local officials said the hotel's top floor penthouse suites, traditionally used by the casino's high rollers, seemed not to have been affected by the fire.

Clark County fire chief Steven Smith denied local media reports that there were people still trapped in the building.

"We will do a thorough look through the building to make sure everyone is accounted for," he said, quoted by AFP news agency.

Larry Wappel, from Indiana, told AP news agency that he and his brother were in a room on the 30th floor when they heard hotel staff banging on doors and telling guests to evacuate.

He said it took about 10 minutes to walk down the stairs to get to the ground floor.

"There were a couple of ladies crying, but it was pretty calm," he added.

Another guest, Renza Badilla, was on the main casino level when the fire alarms went off and said she exited through the hotel kitchen to find burning debris and embers falling from the roof.

The entire Las Vegas Strip was shut to traffic and neighbouring hotels also evacuated.

The 3,000-room Monte Carlo hotel and adjoining casino are owned by entertainment company MGM Mirage.

Modelled on the Place du Casino in Monaco, it was completed in 1996 costing more than $300m to build.

A fire at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Hotel in 1980 claimed more than 80 lives and injured nearly 700 people.

In pictures: Las Vegas hotel blaze
25 Jan 08 |  In Pictures

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