OpenBox Athletics Destroyed By Weekend Fire Days Before COVID-19 Restrictions On Gyms In Kitchener To Be Lifted – CBS Kitchener
kitchener (CBS) – A weekend fire at a popular South Kitchener gym left no injuries, but dealt them a financial blow. Your reopening plans now pose an additional hurdle.
Dave Garonzik’s phone didn’t stop ringing just before midnight on Friday.
“I basically got up and felt like I had been punched in the gut multiple times,” said Garonzik.
Garonzik, owner of OpenBox Athletics near South 20th Street and Washington Avenue in South Kitchener, walked about a block and a half from his home to see his gym on fire.
“There was only smoke pouring from the second floor,” said Garonzik.
The second floor and half of their lobby area were charred, he said.
Some pieces of equipment, including almost the entire fleet of exercise bikes, have disappeared.
This seemed to have merged with the rubber floor of the gym.
Open Box Athletics on 20th / Washington Ave is not opening as planned after a fire this weekend that charred the 2nd floor and melted exercise bikes. But they vowed to do outdoor classes this week and come back even stronger. More about @CBSKitchener. pic.twitter.com/zdGEcHpnmn
– Dan Koob (anDanKoob), January 3, 2021
Eyewitness News spoke to Garonzik in July when gyms, including his own, were banned from a restrictive COVID-19 phase of the green reopening in the city of Kitchener.
“We’re all injured,” said Garonzik in July. “We are all small business owners. We all have families to support. “
And now that the gym was ready to reopen on Monday, “to throw another wrench at us in a year that has already seen a lot of business lost, it’s tough, it’s really tough,” said Garonzik .
The cause of the fire is still being investigated, but Garonzik said they plan to hold outdoor classes again this week.
“Our goal of bringing fitness to our community will be the same as it was before all of this,” said Garonzik. “And if we don’t find a way and plan to find a way, we will continue to serve this community.”
A GoFundMe to rebuild the popular space has already raised more than $ 20,000. You can help OpenBox Athletics through donate here.
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