Firefighters Battle Blaze Near Las Vegas Casino

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alan
An electrical transformer exploded early Sunday on the Las Vegas Strip, knocking out power to parts of some hotels and touching off a smoky blaze that snarled traffic, authorities said.

Firefighters Battle Blaze Near Las Vegas Casino

An electrical transformer exploded early Sunday on the Las Vegas Strip, knocking out power to parts of some hotels and touching off a smoky blaze that snarled traffic, authorities said.

A transformer on a street behind the Monte Carlo resort blew up about 12:30 a.m., police spokesman Lt. William Scott said.

There were no reports of any injuries and no one at the resort was affected, but power was temporarily cut to parts of the building, Scott told The Associated Press.

The exterior lights of the nearby Aria Resort & Casino and Vdara hotel at CityCenter also went out, apparently because of the fire.

"Firefighters are in the process of putting it out," Scott said.

More than an hour after the explosion, a reporter positioned about 500 yards away said there were no visible flames and firefighters were dousing an area where smoke was emanating.

Northbound Interstate-15 was shut down for a time because of poor visibility caused by the smoke, but was reopened.

Scott said the transformer was likely connected to a power pole.

Several photos and videos of the blaze were place on Twitter, drawing widespread attention to the fire.

A short video clip on YouTube showed the blaze apparently in its initial stages with flames shooting into the sky, with the New York-New York and other hotel-casinos in the background.

The Monte Carlo experienced another fire in January 2008, with flames caused by flying molten metal devouring a foam-like building material on the facade of roof of the 32-story resort. Thousands of guests and employees were evacuated, but no serious injuries were reported. The resort's owners, MGM Resorts International, refurbished and reopened the rooms on its top floor.

AP