Gym owner gutted by second devastating fire
UPDATE 4PM: The owner of a Toowoomba gym thought there was no chance a fire could strike his business twice in less than one month.
Snap Fitness Toowoomba CBD owner Griff Davies travelled from his Gold Coast home to Toowoomba today to inspect damage caused by a fire police are treating as suspicious.
Emergency services were called to the gym at the intersection of West and James Sts at 11.38pm on Monday.
They arrived to find the rear of the gym well alight and were forced to fight the blaze for about two hours.
Police guarded the gym overnight and declared it a crime scene this morning with officers from Scenes of Crime investigating the cause.
The gym had been closed since December 12 after another midnight fire caused by an electrical fault.
Mr Davies said after the first fire he had hoped the gym would reopen in mid-January with its 1500 members forced to train elsewhere.
"I was in hospital with a broken wrist and heart problems and got a call from a detective asking me my whereabouts and said that there had been a fire at the gym," he said.
"I then thought it was a prank call."
Mr Davies was unable to inspect the extent of the damage from the second fire with police investigating.
The gym is insured for $2 million, but Mr Davies is concerned that won't be enough to cover a potential $3 million damage bill.
"It hurts us because we sent out an email just before Christmas saying we would be open in January, a prime time for everyone to start coming back to the gym," he said.
"Then someone goes and does something like this.
"Someone obviously didn't want us to open in January."
Mr Davies has been involved with Snap Fitness for the past five-and-a-half years and has owned the Toowoomba CBD gym for almost four years.
"I have never had anything happen like this in my entire life. It's just a joke," he said.
Mr Davies encouraged anyone with information or who witnessed anything unusual in the area to contact police.
Mr Davies owns 11 Snap Fitness gyms, including ones at Highfields and Wilsonton.
Anyone with any information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
11AM: Police are continuing to investigate a fire that occurred at Snap Fitness last night.
Police said about 11.38pm emergency services attended the fitness centre on the corner of West and James Sts where they found the rear of the premises well alight.
The blaze was extinguished, however the building sustained significant damage. No one was inside at the time.
A crime scene has been established and the fire is being investigated.
Investigations are continuing and anyone who may have information about this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
8AM: Fire investigators are at the scene of a Toowoomba gym this morning after its second suspicious fire this month.
Police guarded Snap Fitness overnight after Queensland Fire and Emergency Services were called to a blaze at 11.40pm at the intersection of West and James Sts.
Three fire crews and a senior officer fought the fire which burned for two hours from the gym's roof.
The gym had been closed since December 12 after another suspicious fire caused damage to the building's exterior.
The second fire is big setback for management who posted on Facebook on December 13 that it would "be back in action in no time".
Three days later the finishing touches were being put to the fire recovery.