The Wounded Knee Museum in Wall has posted a video of the electrical fire that torched the building Sept. 2.
Electrical wiring below the 2,600 square foot structure started the blaze, wiping out 80 percent of the exterior and completely decimating the interior. A staff member at the museum shot the footage.
Opened in 2003, the museum off Interstate 90 is dedicated to the 1890 massacre on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
The overnight fire shows flames erupting from the roof and onlookers watching from the parking lot as Wall firefighters douse the flames.
Steve Wyant of Fort Collins, Colo. founded the museum "to promote tolerance and understanding and share the story of what occurred at the Wounded Knee Massacre,” he said last week. He has no Native American heritage but was inspired by a book on the historic events at Wounded Knee.
The museum detailed the events of Dec. 29, 1890, when the U.S. Army demanded the surrender from the Lakota. Amid the tension, a shot rang out. The soldiers opened fire, killing up to 300 men, women and children. Some died instantly, but others may have died from hypothermia.
About 7,000 to 8,000 people visited the museum each year between May and October.
An online petition has been started to gain support for raising funds. It can be found at the museum’s blog: blog.woundedkneemuseum.org