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.