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Fire-damaged Eastside Boxing Gym appeals for help

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The folks who run Vancouver’s non-profit Eastside Boxing Gym know a thing or two about rolling with the punches, but this time they need your help to get up off the mat.

They’re raising money after their facility was damaged by a serious fire over the weekend.

The flames broke out early Saturday morning at the two-storey building at Commercial and Pender. Smoke and water damage have claimed gloves, a heavy bag, and most significantly, the gym’s boxing ring.

“It’s pretty bad. The gym is covered in water and soot. There’s smoke damage all over everything. Everything is where we left it — nothing is actually burned, but it’s unusable,” explains assistant coach Jordan Bowers.

He admits he doesn’t know when they’ll be back open again.

“It’s hard to say. Right now, the fire inspectors have to make the call and check out if there’s structural damage or if it’s just smoke and water,” he explains.

“If it’s just smoke and water, we’re going to re-drywall it, we’re going to do some renos that we wanted to do anyway, and hopefully get it all restored.”

The gym is the beneficiary of the annual Aprons for Gloves charity boxing event and its friends in the local food-service industry are stepping up once again.

An online crowd-funding effort is already underway and a fundraising event is planned for next Sunday at the Bottleneck bar on Granville Street. The proceeds will go to replace equipment and pay for renovations. They hope to raise around $50,000.