Previous settlements included lawsuits against club owners, insurance companies, a utility company accused of failing to inspect wiring, and manufacturers of polyvinyl chloride and other products and materials used in the club. That started a devastating series of burst beverage bottles, crashing candlesticks, bodies in blocked entrances, and lungs filled with black smoke. And, according to a New York Times article, the club's draw was largely due to the fact that “local law enforcement looked the other way as gambling and prostitution flourished, although these activities had always been illegal. By the early morning of May 29, 134 bodies had been removed from the building and placed, initially on the hillside surrounding the building and then in a makeshift morgue inside the nearby Fort Thomas Armory.
The mob had moved from Campbell County, Kentucky, to Las Vegas in the early 1960s, and violations of fires under the Schillings property were the cause of the fire.