Fire Breaks Out in New Orleans at Hard Rock Hotel Site, Where 3 People Died in Collapse Last Year

A fire broke out Monday morning in New Orleans at the site of the Hard Rock Hotel, where three people were killed last year after the building collapsed.

Fire operations personnel were dispatched to a one-alarm fire at the hotel at 8:43 a.m., the New Orleans Fire Department said in a statement.

The blaze began when sparks from demolition contractors cutting steel girders ignited roofing materials on one of the hotel’s upper floors, officials said.

No injuries were reported, and officials said seven units carrying 22 fire operations personnel responded.

The fire was extinguished by mid-afternoon after large plumes of black smoke emerged over New Orleans’ central business district, CBS affiliate WWL-TV reported.

The hotel was the scene of tragedy last October after it collapsed, killing three construction workers and injuring at least a dozen other people.

Victim Anthony Magrette’s body was retrieved from the site with days of the collapse, but the bodies of Quinnyon Wimberly and Jose Ponce were not recovered until last month, reported.

A final report from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has not yet been released, though preliminary findings said that 11 contractors working at the hotel when it collapsed had been cited for “a number of alleged safety violations,” NOLA reported.

Various lawsuits have also reportedly emerged, including several from the families of the late workers, and from the administration of Mayor LaToya Cantrell, who sued the hotel’s development group.

ABC News reported that demolition work on the hotel began in May following months of disagreements between the city and developers “over how best to bring down the remains of the unstable 18-story structure.”

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