Sections of the Monte Carlo hotel and casino in Las Vegas caught fire around 11 a.m. Friday, forcing guests and employees to flee the fire and falling flaming debris.

Firefighters could be seen battling the blaze from the roof of the hotel, with flames coming from the southern section on the top floors.

Las Vegas ABC affiliate KTNV reported the fire was nearly knocked down within two hours with the west wing contained and the south wing fire nearly contained.

When all was said and done, 17 people were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries, and none of the 120 firefighters involved in putting out the blaze were injured.

Welders were working in the general vicinity of where the blaze broke out, but so far fire officials are not commenting on a possible cause.

The 3,000 room hotel staffed by more than 3,000 employees was built in 1996 for $344 million and is owned by MGM Mirage.

There was no mention of the fire on the website for the AAA Four Diamond-rated hotel and casino.

A 1980 fire at the old MGM Grand (now Ballys) killed 84 and injured 700. It was the deadliest fire in Las Vegas history. Since then strict fire code regulations have been enforced in one of the top tourist destinations in the country.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at guilfoil.j@blastmagazine.com. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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