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Brian Haynes

Inspectors still looking for cause of fire

29 January 2008

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Clark County fire investigators continued their probe of the Monte Carlo blaze Monday and had not determined what sparked the flames atop the Strip hotel that forced its evacuation and closure.

Meanwhile, hotel officials hoping to inspect the building's exterior damage from Friday's fire were thwarted by gusty winds.

"We need a little more cooperation from Mother Nature to move forward upstairs," MGM Mirage spokesman Gordon Absher said.

Although the winds prevented an assessment of the fire damage outside the building, work crews continued removing carpet and doing other work to repair smoke and water damage inside, Absher said. On the lower 26 floors, employees performed housekeeping and other routine tasks in anticipation of a reopening, he said.

Company officials would reopen the hotel only once it's deemed safe, even if that means missing the upcoming Super Bowl weekend, he said. "We're still determining what needs to be done, how we're going to get it done and when we're going to get it done," Absher said.