Officials from Las Vegas Fire and Rescue (LVFR) are currently investigating what's being termed an "intentional fire" set on the 22nd floor of the Golden Nugget, the legendary Las Vegas casino and hotel owned by Houston-based Landry's Restaurants and CEO Tilman Fertitta.
The blaze was reported Thursday around 8:30 a.m. in room 22125, which has been used for storing linens with the floor undergoing extensive renovations. Firefighters arrived at the scene to find blackened comforters and pillows soaked by the building's automatic sprinkler systems, which stopped the fire before it could spread.
It remains unclear how the man ended up in the room, which was locked when firefighters arrived. At the time of the incident, only a service elevator provided access to the floor.
Rescue workers soon heard the muffled moans of a man in the corner of the room near a window. The unidentified man —who was a hotel guest — was rushed the the University Medical Center for smoke inhalation, while 50 other people were evacuated from nearby floors.
LVFR spokesman Tim Szymanski told the Las Vegas Sun that it remains unclear how the man ended up in the vacant room, which was locked when firefighters arrived. At the time of the incident, only a service elevator provided access to the floor.
Fire investigators do not why the man was in the room or whether he started the blaze. The man is in criticial condition at a Vegas hospital.
"The fire caused less than $1000 damage to only one unoccupied room on the unfinished 22nd floor of the Rush Tower, which Landry’s built in 2009," Golden Nugget COO Brett Kellerman said in a statement. "The Las Vegas Fire Department and Golden Nugget staff did an excellent job responding to yesterday’s fire."
No other injuries were reported and guests were allowed to return to their rooms an hour after firefighters secured the scene.
Built in 1946, the Golden Nugget is a Las Vegas institution, not to mention one of the largest hotels in the city's downtown with more than 2,300 rooms . . . and space for a massive shark tank.