‘Hell on Earth’: 40 years ago, a historic fire at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas

  • Source: Las Vegas Review Journal - Metered Site
  • Published: 11/16/2020 12:00 AM

PHOTOS: Not long after the fire burst out of the deli, sending columns of thick black smoke shooting up inside the MGM Grand hotel tower, then-Nevada Gov. Robert List arrived at the flooded casino floor to survey the damage. It was dim, and the debris was blackened and torched. Bodies were on the ground or slumped over gaming tables and chairs. The scene was nightmarish: “It was hell on Earth,” he recalled. “That time in that casino is etched into my memory just like a tattoo that would never come off,” List, 84, said. “It was just tattooed in my mind: that terrible smell and the blackness without color, and the bodies that were there. It was awful.” Other memories can fade with time, so after the devastating fire, rookie Clark County fire Capt. Jerry Bendorf dictated personal recollections to his wife to type. He said he had done so in order to remember specific accounts of his experience to tell his children and grandchildren.


We welcome comments from registered users. Comments are solely the responsibility of those who post them; their viewpoints are not endorsed by the Daily Dispatch and DailyDispatch.com. (read more)
ship name
no comments have been added

Sign up to subscribe to custom state Daily Dispatch emails for free

click to subscribe