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Search for bodies at Key Largo fire site resumes Sunday

A search dog goes through the debris Saturday afternoon at the fire-ravaged former Key Largo hotel & casino site. (Sandra Gonzalez)
A search dog goes through the debris Saturday afternoon at the fire-ravaged former Key Largo hotel & casino site. (Sandra Gonzalez)
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Updated: 3/31/2013 12:53 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- Clark County fire officials plan to resume a search at the former Key Largo hotel-casino Sunday morning in an effort to find human remains in the debris after a fire ravaged the shuttered building earlier this week.

Cadaver dogs indicated Saturday morning that there may be one or more bodies at the site but a more detailed examination in the afternoon did not result in dogs "hitting" on remains, according to the Clark County Fire Department.

Clark County Deputy Fire Chief Erik Newman said Sunday's search will be in an area where the second "hit" was noticed. He said it will begin about 8 a.m. and will result in two lanes of Flamingo Road being blocked off for most of the day.

Clark County communications official Erik Pappa said cadaver dogs are not always accurate so county crews began an examination of the area after some walls and debris were removed.

"We have called in the use of heavy equipment and Nevada Task Force 1 to remove debris and shore up walls in the areas in question so that a thorough search can be safely made.," Pappa wrote in an email.
 
Task Force 1 is comprised of first responders from Clark County, Metro and other local agencies trained and equipped to respond to major search and rescue operations, Pappa wrote.

"Personnel include paramedics, search and rescue specialists, K-9 teams, doctors, structural engineers, HazMat specialists and communications and logistics specialists. In this operation, not all of the Nevada Task Force 1 resources will be needed."

The Quality Inn Key Largo, which has been shuttered since 2005, burned Thursday afternoon in a four-alarm blaze. The loss was estimated at $4.5 million. Two of the nearly 120 firefighters who fought the blaze were injured.

On Friday, Clark County building officials ordered that the building be demolished no later than April 26. The listed owner of the building is Flamingo 2005 LLC with a Miami, Fla., address.

The building, located on Flamingo and Paradise near the Hard Rock Casino, dates back to the late 1970s. After the Key Largo closed in 2005 there was a proposal to renovate the property into an 1,800-room high-rise casino and hotel, but it never came to fruition.



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