Tour bus catches fire in the middle of the night

 A bus catches fire in the parking lot at the Holiday Inn Rushmore Plaza.
A bus catches fire in the parking lot at the Holiday Inn Rushmore Plaza. (KOTA)
Published: Jul. 13, 2019 at 2:17 PM CDT
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A tour bus in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn Rushmore Plaza caught fire Friday night.

It is believed the fire started near the front of the bus. A window was broken and sources close to the scene say a flammable material may have been was thrown inside.

"We cannot determine what broke the windows at this time," said Sgt. Ryan Phillips with the Rapid City Police. "When we arrived, most of the windows had been blown out by the heat of the fire."

He says the fire is under investigation.

"We are investigating, but it's kind of a mystery right now," Phillips said. Police have not ruled out a mechanical problem either.

The bus was carrying a tour group and a new one is being dispatched from Denver to pick them up and continue the trip.

A manager at the hotel confirmed no one was on the bus at the time of the fire. He says the front desk called 911 and kept people away from the scene.

"The smell permeated the parking lot," the manager said.

Earlier in the night, a protest was being held at the Memorial Park Bandshell. The organization was part of a nation-wide demonstration to object to the treatment of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. However, no connections have been made between the two.

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