Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety
Public Information Office
Contact: Kevin R. Malone
1399 American Pacific Drive
Henderson, Nevada 89014
Office: (702) 486-1311 Pager: (702) 598-8926

NEWS FROM: State Fire Marshal 99-127

Lakeside Electrical Problems Not A Danger

Nevada State Fire Marshal’s Office Says Incident Handled Properly

The Nevada State Fire Marshal’s Office in Pahrump has released the initial results of its investigation into the May 28th evacuation and closure of Terrible’s Lakeside Casino.

Deputy Fire Marshal Tony Capucci says the incident was professionally handled by Pahrump Emergency Response crews and Lakeside employees. Crews initially could not determine the source of noxious fumes in the casino’s main electrical system. The evacuation was the proper response to an unknown situation and assured that the public and staff were not placed at any risk.

Capucci’s investigation found a number of factors which contributed to the smell and gasses coming from the casino’s underground electrical conduits:

The main wires supplying the casino’s power were not of sufficient size to carry the electrical load of the facility.

The wire was made of aluminum and not copper, which is capable of carrying a higher load.

The electrical load of the facility is high enough to require three sets of main wires, not the two sets installed.

These factors created an overload and extreme heat in the wiring, which in turn caused the wire insulation and PVC conduit pipe to begin smoking and giving off gasses.

This incident did not involve any type of chemical spill and there is no danger to the public or employees at the Lakeside Casino.

A proper new electrical service will be installed in a short time. Until it is completed, a large back-up generator is providing proper power to the casino. In addition, there is a second, smaller back-up generator which provides additional power to all life safety systems such as fire alarms, smoke detectors and the voice evacuation system.