Damage from Bellagio shops roof fire tops $400K; flames went up as music played on

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — A fire official says it could be a couple of weeks before investigators know what sparked a blaze that caused more than $400,000 in damage to the roof of a retail annex at the Bellagio resort on the Las Vegas Strip.

Deputy Clark County Fire Chief Jeff Buchanan said Friday officials suspect an exterior electrical or lighting malfunction started the blaze late Thursday atop the Via Bellagio shops.

A tourist says the 11 p.m. Bellagio fountains show went on as scheduled, with the “Pink Panther Theme” playing while firefighters battled wind-whipped flames.

Buchanan told reporters the work took 19 minutes.

He says that instead of using a roundabout route upstairs, firefighters attacked from the ground first and then used a ladder to get on the roof.

County spokesman Erik Pappa says officials found no building code violations at the resort.


A tourist says the Bellagio fountains sprayed and the "Pink Panther Theme" played while firefighters battled flames atop a retail complex at the Las Vegas Strip resort.

Sean Kim of Los Angeles said Friday that he and his friends initially thought the fire late Thursday was part of the iconic fountain show.

He shot cellphone video from the sidewalk while gusty winds whipped flames across the roof of the Via Bellagio shops.

Kim says he realized something was wrong when plastic-smelling smoke began to billow, police started evacuating people from the shopping area, and melting building material dripped fireballs toward the fountain lake.

Fire officials say no one was injured and damage was limited to the roof of the mall. The cause of the fire isn't immediately known.

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