Authorities are currently probing a fire that erupted at a Brunswick-based gym with connections to ex-Mongols bikie and professional kickboxer Suleiman “Sam” Abdulrahim, focusing on whether the blaze was intentionally set.
Emergency response teams rushed to the scene at Power Gymnasium, located in Melbourne’s inner north, around 5 AM on Friday after receiving emergency calls reporting flames and smoke emanating from the front window and the roof of the Holmes Street establishment.
While initial on-site assessments by officers could not definitively ascertain the fire’s origin, arson investigators will inspect the site on Friday to determine if foul play was involved.
At first, law enforcement authorities stated that the fire did not appear suspicious, but they subsequently released a revised statement hours later, revealing their intention to investigate the possibility of deliberate arson.
Fortunately, there were no casualties as a result of the fire, although the building incurred significant damage.
In an official statement shared on social media, Power Gymnasium attributed the fire to an electrical fault in their reception area. The gym’s statement read, “It is with a heavy heart that we have to inform all our members that, due to unfortunate circumstances, the gym will remain closed for the next few days. Please do not feel threatened or intimidated.”
Abdulrahim, who goes by the alias “The Punisher” in the boxing world, has previously been a victim of violence, having been shot multiple times in the chest the previous year while leaving a funeral in Fawkner, Melbourne’s north. He has frequently posted videos on social media of his training sessions at Power Gymnasium, and the gym has actively promoted the kickboxer on Instagram.
Official business records reveal that Abdulrahim’s boxing promotion enterprise, Power Promotions, is registered to the same address as the gym.
Last June, two masked assailants ambushed Abdulrahim as he was driving on Box Forest Road, firing numerous rounds at his black Mercedes-Benz before crashing their escape vehicle in a spectacular fashion. The hitmen subsequently fled the country for the Middle East.
Notably, this incident marks the fourth time in the current year that a business linked to Abdulrahim has succumbed to flames. A Moonee Ponds tobacco and vape shop associated with the kickboxer’s sister was firebombed on three separate occasions in late May and early June, despite Abdulrahim’s prior denial of any connection to the establishment, despite having promoted it on social media prior to the attacks.