ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Officials release cause of Bison Turf fire

FARGO - A July 22 fire that heavily damaged the Bison Turf bar and restaurant was likely caused by repair work done earlier that day, Fargo fire officials determined.

2730481+0B9ICSRgvo88ITmxXcy1EVlduNGc.jpg
Fargo Firemen work the scene after the Bison Turf caught fire earlier in the day on Friday, July 22, 2016.David Samson / The Forum

FARGO - A July 22 fire that heavily damaged the Bison Turf bar and restaurant was likely caused by repair work done earlier that day, Fargo fire officials determined.

In a news release Monday, Fargo Fire Marshal Ryan Erickson said the fire started in an attic or void space "due to a smoldering fire, which was likely caused by repair work that was conducted earlier that day." In the news release, Erickson didn't specify what sort of repair work.

The Bison Turf, at 1211 N. University Drive, remains closed, though owner Pete Sabo has said he plans to rebuild the popular watering hole near the North Dakota State University campus. City officials have said they want to see a wrecking crew take down the Turf.

"We've told the owner that, in the opinion of the city, it needs to be demolished . There's over 50 percent damage," Director of Planning and Development Jim Gilmour said a few days after the fire.

Sabo has said the fire, water and smoke damage from the blaze appear repairable.
"They have to say those things. I can prove them wrong," Sabo said of city officials after the fire. "It's a step in the process. I'm hurrying along as fast as I can."

ADVERTISEMENT

If Sabo does convince the city his bar doesn't need to be destroyed, he would have to bring the entire building up to existing code.

Firefighters were called to the Bison Turf about 2:18 p.m. on Friday, July 22.

When they arrived, flames were leaping from the western roof of the building and a thick column of black smoke rose over the neighborhood bar and grill.

Sabo said he was at the Bison Turf when the fire started. He previously said he believed the fire was caused by some sort of electrical problem, likely with an exhaust fan in the kitchen.

 

Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
What To Read Next
Neil Joseph Pfeifer was released Friday, Feb. 3, on $5,000 cash bail.
State lawmakers hear from both sides as parents and educators weigh in on the potential impact of the bill
“We see that when things happen in the coastal areas, a few years later, they start trending toward the Midwest,” said Rep. Ben Krohmer, serving his first term in the House.
Stark County prosecutors prepare for pretrial conferences and jury trials scheduled for March