WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Nearly a month after a Wichita boxing gym erupted in flames, the club remains closed.
“Right now we are at a halt,” said Nico Hernandez’s uncle and the gym’s manager Emiliano Hernandez.
Hernandez said he had planned on re-opening a portion of the gym a few weeks ago. However, Hernandez’s timeline drastically changed after he got news from the City of Wichita late last week.
“It’s a safety concern right now that the fire might have done more damage than we first thought,” Hernandez said.
The city said it has hired contractors to inspect the structure of the building and its electric wiring. Until that is complete, no one is allowed to go inside the gym.
“It was disappointing news because I thought we were on track,” Hernandez said. “That broke me down a little bit.”
The news also disappointed the athletes at Northside. Nico and his coach are in San Antonio training until the gym can reopen. As for the other athletes and kids, they are left with nowhere to go.
“They’ve been staying at home. They’re working out in their rooms, running around their house,” he said.
Hernandez said he is unsure when the gym will reopen, but is optimistic about the future.
“It’s going to be exciting because once again you’ll have that family, that boxing family and I think we are going to have more of a family now because more of the people who came out to support that didn’t know of us, but just heard of us realized what kind of people we really are,” he said.
The city said it has expedited the inspection process.