A fire at Las Vegas' Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino left one man with critical injuries and forced guests to evacuate the building's top floors, firefighters said.
The Golden Nugget fire was intentionally set, a hotel spokeswoman told the Associated Press. Flames broke out on the unoccupied 22nd floor of the popular downtown hotel Thursday morning. Sprinklers put out the flames about 8:30 a.m.
About 60 guests were forced to evacuate rooms on the 21st and 25th floors, the spokeswoman said. The three floors in between are being renovated, and are supposed to be unoccupied.
But firefighters found an unconscious man overcome by smoke on the 22nd floor in the Golden Nugget fire. The man, whose name has not been released, is now in critical condition at a hospital, the AP reports.
The man was a hotel guest, but it's not clear what he was doing on the closed floor, the hotel spokeswoman told the AP.
Once investigators pinpoint a cause of the fire, the Golden Nugget's owner, Landry's Restaurants, may well become involved in legal action.
If the fire was indeed arson -- the intentional burning of a building -- Landry's will likely sue the culprit for damages. Those damages could include about $1,000 in fire damage, as well as compensation for lost business.
The injured man may also try to sue the hotel for negligence if, for example, the "closed" areas of the hotel were not properly cordoned off.
Otherwise, a jury may consider the man's unauthorized presence in a closed part of the hotel as comparative fault -- a reason to deny his claims in a potential Golden Nugget fire lawsuit. More details will have to come to light before we find out what the Golden Nugget will do next.
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