STURGIS, S.D. – Numerous fire agencies were called in to battle a massive fire at the Full Throttle Saloon east of Sturgis overnight Monday.
The call came in just after midnight, and crews first on the seen could see smoke coming from the roof of the main structure. Soon, the entire facility was engulfed in flames, which spread to nearby structures.
Heavy smoke rose into the early morning air as fire crews raced back and forth bringing water and supplies. The lack of water on the bar grounds prompted fire officials to call in tenders, which then had to go back and reload.
A call came out from those in charge to keep people out of the burning structure. Rather, fire crews worked to “surround and drown,” or fight the fire from outside by surrounding it.
Fire crews had to temporarily close Highway 34 in front of the structure because of the dangerous conditions.
Fire crews from Piedmont, Vale, Whitewood, Sturgis and Fort Meade were among the agencies called in to fight the blaze. They remain on scene this morning as the rubble continues to smolder.
The Full Throttle Saloon is owned by Michael Ballard, and his rally-week life running the establishment is the plot for a television show which filmed once again this year.