Full Throttle Saloon Burns

September 8, 2015

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Full Throttle Saloon Burns

The Full Throttle Saloon, a biker bar on Highway 34 east of Sturgis, South Dakota burned down early this morning and was completely destroyed.

The Full Throttle marketed itself as the “world’s largest biker bar.” It was a sort of 30-acre biker theme park that featured multiple bars, multiple stages, zip lines, tourist cabins and a staff of 300. It was only open ten days a year but it sold a lot of t-shirts and a lot of beer in those ten days. It was also the subject of a reality television series on TruTV.

Multiple news outlets are calling the bar a “total loss.”

Volun ary firefighters from Sturgis, Whitewood, Fort Meade, Vale and Piedmont responded to the fire about 12:15 a.m. Tuesday. No one was hurt. The cause of the fire is under investigation.


56 Responses to “Full Throttle Saloon Burns”

  1. NortonSmitty Says:

    Hey, belay that last post. Sorry. Got it mixed up with Broken Spoke. My bad.

  2. NortonSmitty Says:

    Hey Belay that last comment. Got iyt mixed up with Broken Spoke My Bad. Sorry.

  3. Mad Dog Says:

    For what it’s worth, here’s what the investigators from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives concluded about the fire, according to Fox News:

    “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.”

    It doesn’t say why the BATF, etc. was involved in the investigation.

  4. T Hell Says:

    @Mad Dog

    “It doesn’t say why the BATF, etc. was involved in the investigation.”

    They were involved because they were hoping they could pin the fire on a club….


  5. Mad Dog Says:

    T Hell, that was the only thing that came to my mind as well, but given that, I’m surprised that they couldn’t “find” some evidence of “possible arson.” So I looked into it a little, and here’s what I found, from the BATF’s website, https://www.atf.gov/our-history/arson-business-atf

    “ATF determined that the use of a flammable liquid when mixed with an oxidizing agent fell within the definition of “explosive” as set out in the Explosive Control Act. Under this broadened interpretation, ATF successfully prosecuted three men in a U.S. District Court in Savannah, Ga. While this was not the first successful conviction for arson under the Explosives Control Act, it was the first in which a broadened interpretation of the definition of explosives was applied.

    Thus, a violation of the Explosive Control Act had been established that supported the interpretation of gasoline used with an oxidizing agent to damage or destroy any building, vehicle, or other real or personal property in interstate or foreign commerce, or in any activity affecting interstate or foreign commerce. With this interpretation supported, ATF had the authority to directly investigate many more arson cases than previously…

    “Congress continued to provide ATF with additional tools for arson prosecution. In 1982, the Anti-Arson Act amended the explosives laws, specifically criminalizing the use of fire to commit any federal felony. The Act made it unlawful to damage or destroy, by fire, any property used in activities affecting interstate commerce.”

    So it looks like the ATF can pretty much pick and choose what suspected arson cases they investigate, using “interstate commerce” as a pretext.

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