In the early hours of Saturday morning we lost the gym to a fire. East End Boxing was much more than a business to our family and it played a huge part in our lives and in our community. The perpetrators broke into the property through the back door, doused the entire space with petrol and lit it on fire. No money or valuables were stolen and the attack was callous and deliberate. Thankfully, witnesses called triple zero and the fire brigade arrived within minutes.
The building has suffered quite a lot of structural damage to the back corner where the fire was the strongest. Whilst it is still currently standing, this back wall has been assessed as 'very likely' to give way. As such, we are unsure as to whether the landlord will want to demolish and rebuild the back of the building, or just demolish it in its entirety.
As for the contents, it's mostly gone. The ring was burnt down to the steel framework, along with all the speedballs, lots of gloves, scales and a number of bags. The rest was damaged by the heat and smoke. Thankfully, we did have a number of bags out for repair, and some of the fighters individual belongings were salvaged. Similarly, whilst the office space was doused with petrol it did not catch fire so some of our personal belongings including pictures and memorabilia were able to be salvaged.
Our family is totally and utterly devastated at the loss, as I'm sure many others are. The people responsible have showed a blatant disregard for their fellow humans. Not only to our family and our livelihood, but to the men, woman and children that use the gym as a second home, the personal trainers who work there and the firies who risked their own lives to put it out, many of whom were treated by paramedics at the scene. East End Boxing was a special place, and over the years it developed into a close-knit community.
I dare say that Brian Butler is the most passionate and dedicated man than I know. He really does eat, sleep and breathe boxing, to the point that it drives our family insane. Without the gym, there is no income coming into the family. As such, we have set up this page to raise funds to get Brian and East End Boxing back on their feet. The funds will be used to set up the gym again (new bags, speedballs, ring and other gym equipment) and any renovations to the building (depending on whether we stay at the current location or not but may include painting, signage, flooring etc), We don't know how long it will take, and we don't know what it will look like, but we hope you continue to support the gym in the future.
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