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LAS VEGAS-Exterior sections of the top floors of the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino caught fire today, possibly due to welders who were working on the roof, according to television media reports. No injuries have been reported and firefighters have largely extinguished the fire but large chunks of the upper facade–fashioned from stucco and foam–have burned and the building has been evacuated.

Completed in 1998 for $344 million, the hotel has more than 3,000 rooms, including 211 penthouse suites, and conference rooms. It is owned by publicly traded MGM Mirage Inc.

The first reports of the fire came in at about 11 a.m. The Las Vegas Strip was closed in both directions between Tropicana and Harmon, as were northbound exits from Interstate 15 around Tropicana. Television news stations, quoting firefighters, say welders were working on the roof when the fire broke out.

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