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Fire that destroyed "World's Largest Biker Bar" was an accident

FILE - In this Aug. 7, 2006 file photo, a Guns and Roses tribute band plays at the Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis, S.D., during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. An early morning fire Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, destroyed the popular saloon that billed itself as the "world's largest biker bar." The bar, which featured such amenities as zip lines, musical stages and rental cabins, had been the subject of a reality television series. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. (AP Photo/Doug Dreyer, File)

FILE - In this Aug. 7, 2006 file photo, a Guns and Roses tribute band plays at the Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis, S.D., during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. An early morning fire Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, destroyed the popular saloon that billed itself as the "world's largest biker bar." The bar, which featured such amenities as zip lines, musical stages and rental cabins, had been the subject of a reality television series. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. (AP Photo/Doug Dreyer, File)

The fire that destroyed the so-called “World’s Biggest Biker Bar” was an accident, according to authorities.

The Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis, S.D., burned to the ground in the middle of the night on September 8th. The bar was a popular venue during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally held in the town each year.

 

So figure I might as well post a few of my own pictures and videos from the fire at the Full Throttle Saloon. I was one of the first on scene. Was crazy to watch it all happen.

Posted by Kaleb Zook on Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Investigators from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have determined “conclusively” that the blaze was caused by a pinched power cord.

Owner Michael Ballard told KEVN News that "we had a keg cooler behind the main bar, and they had pulled it out multiple times whether for cleaning or switching kegs out.

“When they pushed it back, it crinked the power cord and it didn't break the power cord open so that it would arc and throw a breaker. It heated the cord up and beside the cooler was a cardboard box, the cord caught the box on fire, and that's what ignited this fire."

Ballard had liability insurance for the business, but no coverage for the building itself. With the loss estimated at $10 million, he tells KOTA News he hasn’t decided if he’ll be rebuilding it. However, the adjacent campground he also operates was undamaged, and will be opened for next year’s rally.