“Your bus is on fire!”
That’s what Ryan Skidmore heard at approximately 5 a.m on Monday, November 11, while he was in his home. His roommate had just noticed that Skidmore's party bus, a pot-friendly mobile lounge known as the Dab Space Station, was in flames.
Skidmore remembers grabbing a fire extinguisher to subdue the damage, but by the time he was outside, police and fire firefighters were already at the scene, and his cannabis party bus was reduced to charred remains.
“This didn’t only jeopardize the bus,” he says. “It jeopardized lives, houses and the neighborhood. Even one of the trees nearby was on fire.”
The Lakewood Police Department initially ruled electric wiring as the cause of the fire, but later that Monday, Skidmore says he found two strange bottles on the floor. The West Metro Fire Department, which extinguished the fire, was called once again, and upon looking at the bottles, fire investigators realized they were actually containers for Molotov cocktails.
The West Metro Fire Department confirmed it has started an arson investigation concerning the bus fire, but could not elaborate further.
Skidmore says he doesn’t know who would set his bus aflame, or why.
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“I don’t know who would have gone this far, and I don’t want to point fingers at anyone,” he says. “Maybe it was someone against the use of cannabis, or some religious thing, but I just don’t know. I try to be cordial with everyone.”
The Dab Space Station bus had been in business since 2016, providing a private space for riders 21 and up to smoke, dab and vape cannabis socially. The bus transported people to and from concerts and entertainment venues, as well as provided a private consumption lounge at events, operating under a state law that allows cannabis use in the backs of private limos and buses,
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Despite the recent loss, Skidmore looks back fondly on his memories with his dab bus, and is proud of its impact. “I would just post up downtown, so people could smoke in the bus and not have to go outside,” he recalls. “The police were always happy to see me, and [that] the bus was there, and they didn't have to worry.”
Skidmore 's roommate, Madison Karl, has started a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $3,000 for a new bus. Since the fire, Skidmore says he's received numerous messages from fans of the party bus offering their condolences.
“People miss it and people love it,” he says. “They call the bus a historical monument.”
Skidmore is now trying to buy another bus to keep his business going. He hopes to eventually own a fleet of buses, and says a fire won't burn out his plans. “I’m going to rise above the ashes, like a phoenix,” he says. “I’ve done a lot to get to where I am now, and I can’t give up. Nothing is going to stop me.”