The slots were average tight but the food was good. I've worked there for 10 years and the way things are with jobs nowadays, it's a scary for everybody, even scarier now," said Garrett Allen, Empress Casino employee.
Fire and thick black smoke rose from a building at the Empress Casino in Joliet most of the day Friday. It shut down the gambling floor and forced the evacuation of hundreds of gamblers and workers. The fire broke out at approximately 10 a.
Most of the firefighters in Joliet and some neighboring areas had been deployed to the scene when the blaze broke out, according to officials. The building that caught fire is located in the southwest corner of the Empress pavilion at Empress Drive, just off U.
Casino management and Joliet fire officials said the fire began in the kitchen area of a space under renovation. The reality is, though, we will do everything in our power to get this thing opened up, get those employees back to work as quickly as we possibly can," said Empress Casino General Manager Frank Quigley. About customers and staff people were able to get out quickly as part of an orderly evacuation. Firefighters arriving on the scene thought they had the situation under control initially, but the fire kept moving horizontally in the vaulted ceilings, and there just wasn't enough water to stay ahead of the fire.
Throughout the afternoon, flames consumed the complex. We had firefighters on the inside? Experts said with a fire of this magnitude, gaming equipment is sure to suffer and delay any reopening of the complex. So, it's going to be important for the equipment to be evaluated to make sure there's not any long-lasting effects," said consulting engineer Bob Kerbins.
Authorities say the fire might have been started by a welder's spark that hit some grease in the kitchen area of the facility. The fire will have a significant impact on the economy in Joliet, as the casino is one of the city's major employers, with roughly workers. Currently, unemployment in Joliet stands at Casino fire major blow to local economy. But Allen says he'd rather be casino empress il joliet at the Empress Casino. The bartender is worried his job there is in jeopardy after the devastating fire.
I've worked there for 10 years and the way things are with jobs nowadays, it's a scary for everybody, even scarier now," said Garrett Allen, Empress Casino employee. The Empress Casino employs more than employees - and casino officials are not da funk casino inc remix when they may re-open.
In addition to those jobs, the fire is also a financial blow for the city of Joliet. The casino's tax revenue is 6 gambling online resource of the city's yearly budget.
That money is used for many things including employee salaries, infrastructure, neighborhood improvement programs and the city is in a financial crisis like many other communities are across the country," said Kevin Hegarty, Joliet city spokesperson. Eighty-five percent of Joliet's workers are in a union, like the city's police force. Right now, city officials are working with six different unions, trying to cut costs.
Ultimately, they're worried the fire will halt tax revenue, dent their budget and force layoffs. Together, the casinos bring in millions for the city. City officials blame the smoking ban and recession. And although, gamblers dropped by Harrah's on Friday night. Management here isn't convinced there will be a huge jump in attendance because of the fire. As for Garrett Allen, he's ready to do what it takes to get the Empress up and running, even if it includes volunteering to help.
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Heavy fire damage at Empress Casino in Joliet Two people hospitalized. Personalize your casino empress il joliet by entering a location.Argosy's Empress Casino was a Riverboat casino and hotel located in Joliet, Illinois. Built in the s by a group of investors headed by T.J. Lambrecht, History · Fire and Rebuilding. The Empress Casino in Joliet will change its name to Hollywood an approximately 20 percent drop when Illinois banned smoking and about. When you visit Harrah's Joliet, you'll experience the fun, friendly Chicago casino by Caesars Entertainment, where you're always welcome to Come Out and.