Fire Delays Day Two Of IPCPR Trade Show

Fire Delays Day Two Of IPCPR Trade Show
Photo Courtesy of Michael Herklots
The fire triggered the sprinkler system, soaking the area below and affecting 14 exhibitors.

An electrical fire that broke out early this morning at the Las Vegas Convention Center has delayed the opening of the IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas. 

The fire triggered the sprinkler system, which soaked the areas below, affecting 14 exhibitors, according to the IPCPR, including such notable cigar companies as Rocky Patel, AJ Fernandez and Nat Sherman.

No one was injured in the event, which took place early on Sunday morning when the show was closed. The show began on Saturday.

The show, originally scheduled to go from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Las Vegas time, will have a delayed opening. It will open at 1 p.m. instead, and the hours have been extended to 7 p.m.

The show floor is vast, located in the north wing of the Las Vegas Convention Center. There are 217 exhibitors at the show. Some, like Rocky Patel, have massive booths that take up thousands of square feet, some have booths just the width of a table, and many have something in between. The water damage took place in a relatively small part of the show, according to the IPCPR and eyewitnesses on the floor.

“Fifteen feet of the booth got flooded. The sprinklers went off last night. They’re ripping up the carpeting,” said Nish Patel of Rocky Patel cigars. “No cigars were hurt.”

“It was super contained,” said Michael Herklots of Nat Sherman, as he stood on the wet floor by his booth. His company’s carpet, soaked from the sprinklers, was being removed and replaced. He said carpeting was the only damage in his area, with cigars and other items unaffected. “There’s really not a lot of damage.” 

Other cigarmakers in the affected area reported a similar situation. "Apparently there was only water damage to the floor/rug but the booth and displays are unharmed and OK,” said Frank Santos, from AJ Fernandez. 

This is day two of the show, the most important trade show for the U.S. premium cigar industry. It has been held for 86 years and concludes on Tuesday.