Big Tex went out with a bang and a flash on his 60th birthday. The State Fair of Texas icon burst into flames at 10:25 am according to Dallas-Fort Worth news station WFAA.
The cause of the fire is believed to be an electrical short. Reportedly, no one was harmed in the accident, which occurred just after the fair opened at 10 am. The fair remained open throughout the fire.
"It’s a great loss for us because of his icon stature and what he’s meant to the fair for the last 60 years," said State Fair spokesperson Sue Gooding.
Sue Gooding, a spokesperson for the State Fair, was on location when the flames erupted. She said the whole structure burned in matter of 10 minutes.
"The fairgoers just kept saying, ‘This is so sad. This is so sad.’ I think that sums it up for everyone," Gooding said in an interview with NBC Channel 5 (Dallas).
"It’s a great loss for us because of his icon stature and what he’s meant to the fair for the last 60 years," she said. "But there was no loss of life, and Big Tex will be back again, bigger and better than ever."
Big Tex was originally constructed in 1949 and debuted at the State Fair in 1952. Only the metal skeleton and his arms remain.
This is the final weekend of the State Fair, which opened September 28.