10/2/81: Las Vegas Hilton fire

On Tuesday 10 February a huge fire broke out in the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas, causing the death of eight people and injuring some 200 more.

pic: reviewjournal.com

23 year old hotel busboy Philip Bruce Cline was later charged for starting the fire and was given eight consecutive life sentences as well as being charged for arson. Interviewed in 2011 Cline said he still hopes the Pardons Board will give him a chance at freedom."I don't think I deserve to die in here, but I did what I did. I'm responsible for that," he said. (source)

The Hilton fire came three months after a fire in the MGM Hotel also in Las Vegas the previous November in which 87 people died. The Hilton was in fact being fitted with new anti-incendiary and safety equipment in the aftermath of the MGM tragedy.

Source: Clark County, NV website

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