Around 3 a.m. on New Year's Eve 1986, a man playing blackjack at the casino in the Dupont Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, heard a loud explosion. He looked up and saw white smoke through the glass partition of the ballroom but kept playing cards until he saw light black smoke coming from the casino’s air conditioning vents. It wasn’t until a woman ran into the casino moments later yelling “Fire!,” however, that the gambler finally collected his money and began to walk toward the exit. He was not alone in reacting slowly to the fire. By the time firefighters extinguished the blaze that evening, 97 people were dead, 84 of them in the casino. It was the second-deadliest hotel fire in U.S. history. For more on the fire, read "Looking Back" online or turn to page 80 of the November/December issue of NFPA Journal. You may also download the original NFPA investigation report.