DETROIT (WJBK) - Authorities continue to investigate what they're calling a suspicious fire that destroyed a well-known gym in southwest Detroit.
The original location of the Kronk Gym went up in flames late Saturday night. It's located in the 5500 block of Junction, near McGraw.
When firefighters got to the building, which is vacant, they saw flames shooting out of the second floor. They tried to save the building, which has so much history and value to the community, but the building could not be saved.
Legendary trainer Emanuel Stewart started the Kronk Gym in 1971. He groomed many young fighters into champions there. Boxing legend Tommy "The Hitman" Hearns was among 30 or so fighters who became world champions due to the training at the Kronk Gym.
Stewart closed it in 2006, and died in 2012. Former Kronk fighter Milton McCrory now runs the gym at a different location on the city's west side.
"To see that legacy of the most famous long-term gym in the United States needlessly go up in flames like that is gut wrenching. It turns our stomach, and it is extremely hard to accept," says Diane Steward-Jones, Emanuel Steward's sister.
We're told the roof collapsed at the building, so authorities may have a hard time ever determining what caused the fire.
This is a developing story. Stay with FOX 2 for updates.