One of the worst fires ever to hit a hotel in the United States occurred on November 21, 1980. Fire broke out early in the morning at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas just as over 5,000 guests were settling into their beds after a night of shows and gambling. The fire alarms failed and many guests died when they frantically broke windows to get fresh air which pulled even more smoke into their rooms.
Hundreds of the guests were rescued by helicopters from the roof because fire ladders only could reach the seventh story of the building. It took four hours for firefighters to evacuate the entire building. 87 died and over 650 were injured in the blaze. Smoke inhalation killed seventy-five people.