Full Throttle Saloon goes up in flames

It's billed as the "World's Largest Biker Bar," but an overnight fire may have stripped the bar of that title.

Crews from the Sturgis Volunteer Fire Department responded to the Full Throttle Saloon around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. They found heavy smoke coming from the building. A total of six fire departments converged on the scene including Fort Meade, Whitewood, Newell, Vale, and Piedmont as flames ripped through the building.

Volunteers with the American Red Cross also responded to the scene to provide assistance to one individual who has been displaced. Richard Smith, Executive Director of Central South Dakota Red Cross, says, “We were able to find out there was one tenant who is being displaced from his home. We're meeting with him. He lost everything that he had, so we are working with him to get some food, some clothing and finding a place to stay. He may have a place to stay already, but we're going to help him if he needs some assistance. Then we're going to help him with the recovery process with replacing drivers license and all those kinds of things he lost during the fire.

And if you were a frequent attendee at the saloon, you know there was another tenant who roamed the grounds – Emit the donkey. Emit has been a member of the Full Throttle family for six years and was found safe and sound around 6 a.m. Monday.

Full Throttle employee since 2005 Kimm Lischefska says Emit “has somewhat recovered from the trauma but he doesn’t like the fire trucks at all – they are too loud, too noisy. And he didn't care to cut across the back corner of the property, because it smells really bad.”

The state fire marshal is conducting an investigation into the possible cause of the fire.