Witnesses recalled intense heat and blinding columns of dark smoke above the Las Vegas strip when a fire broke out on the pool deck of the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino on Saturday afternoon.
Matthew Mills shot cellphone video from his room at the Cosmopolitan. He told NBC Los Angeles he was sleeping when he woke up to people screaming and the fire crackling right outside his pool-view windows.
"As soon as the fire started to erupt, the room-- it must have jumped up 20, 30 degrees in an instant," Mills said. "It was a big mess. The evacuation wasn't clean, that was for sure. People were just running everywhere."
Two people were treated for smoke inhalation and one of them was hospitalized.
Other cellphone video shows the fire burning trees and cabanas on the 14th floor pool deck, sending thick smoke across the strip.
At Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, Southern Californians returning from Las Vegas described the smoke they saw from all directions.
"We were on our way and there was like a traffic jam, and you could just see this huge smoke. You couldn't even see the fire, it was just blinding," said Abbey Scott, who was visiting Las Vegas.
The fire torched trees and cabanas at the Bamboo Pool on the west side of the hotel, but made little impact inside the building, according to the Clark County Fire Department, NBC News reported.
"You would assume a whole high rise was going just from the smoke effect," said another man at Burbank airport.
The fire was extinguished about 45 minutes after it was reported. The cause remained under investigation.