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[The Backstory]

A tourist’s smartphone snapshot of Cosmo’s pool fire goes viral—and informs the masses

Courtney Cyr

Bamboo Pool Fire | The Cosmopolitan | July 25, 2015 | 12:21 p.m.

Courtney Cyr was relaxing in her 29th-floor Aria hotel room when she noticed thick black smoke outside her window. “I woke my boyfriend up from a nap, and we watched the beginning of the fire,” the 25-year-old Tacoma, Washington, resident says. “You could see people scrambling to leave the pool. It was scary.” Cyr, who actually has a photography side-business specializing in family portraits, began snapping shots with her camera-phone, then posted this overhead view of the scene on Twitter (@ccyr17), netting nearly 2,000 retweets. “My intention was to help keep people informed,” she says. “I realized people in Las Vegas would be wondering where those dark smoke clouds were coming from.” Within moments, Cyr began receiving requests for permission to use her photos—from CBS, the Associated Press, the Mirror in England—as word spread about the Strip fire, which was extinguished quickly, reportedly without significant injury. “I love photography in any sense,” Cyr says. “In this case, I was just in the right place at the right time.”

Tags: Photography, News
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Spencer Patterson

Spencer Patterson is the Editor of Las Vegas Weekly, having previously served as Managing Editor, Arts & Entertainment Editor and ...

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