Fire leaves heavy damage to gym where Nico Hernandez trains

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Two overnight fires kept Wichita fire crews busy Saturday morning. Fire officials says one of those fires happened at 6:30 a.m. at 1901 N. Market.

That location is the Northside 316 Boxing Club, where Olympic bronze medalist Nico Hernandez trains.

Nico’s uncle, Emiliano Hernandez, oversees the gym.

Hernandez says he got several calls around seven Saturday morning that his gym was on fire.

He says when he arrived, the fire was out, but fire engines and investigators were still on scene.

Hernandez says crews were on scene for over two hours.

After crews left, Hernandez says about 15 to 20 friends, family members and people in the community began the clean-up process.

Hernandez walked KSN through the inside and outside of the facility to show the extent of the damage.

“Our weight room, we just got all our donated weights from Andover High, all of that is completely gone, there is no way we are going to be able to work out in there,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez when on to point out more damage to the inside of his gym.

“Our ring, looks like the ring started catching on fire, all the skirts, the canvas, a lot of the wood is damaged, so we know we’re going to have to replace all that stuff too,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez didn’t have a cost estimate on the damage.

Fire investigators say it will be at least $75,000.

Hernandez says they were able to salvage some equipment, like weights and boxing gloves.

However, he says the fire has dealt himself and those who frequent the gym quite a blow.

“It’s more devastating to us, because this is home to us right and to a lot of these kids, and the neighborhood, this is home for the north side fighters,” said Hernandez.

While they might be knocked down for now, Hernandez says they vow to move forward after the fire.

“At the end of the day we have to pick up, we can’t let this hold us down, we’ve got to move on,” said Hernandez.

Olympic Medal winner Nico Hernandez was out there Saturday morning surveying the damage.

Nico didn’t want to talk on-camera, but did say he considers the gym a second home.

Hernandez says the gym will be closed for right now, just as a safety precaution, while the clean-up process continues.