2 Cases of Arson + 1 Unhappy Tenant = 1 Premature Move: Part 2

Mike Coval
April 30, 2021

I have a voicemail on a Saturday night from my landlord. This can't be good.

Voicemail from Landlord: "Well, Mike, it happened again..."

I didn't even listen to the rest of the voicemail. I got into my car, drove to the gym to assess the damage, and luckily it wasn't nearly as bad as the first fire. There was smoke damage that stunk the gym up for a good few weeks, but other than that everything was all good.

I told my landlord that night "I'm out. This is my notification to you that I'm searching for a new space effective immediately."

Sometime a Few Days After The Second Fire

We had a leak in our roof. We put in a call to the roofing company and they come out on a very cold and snowy mid-week morning.

I'm working with clients when they walk in after going up on the roof.

Roof Guy: "Okay, so we found out why you had a leak. Someone had cut a whole in your heat intake."

Actual hole in roofActual hole in roof

Me: "Wow, okay."

Roof Guy: "and we also found a full tank of gasoline on the roof as well. I think somebody had plans to set this place on fire, but it might have been too icy on the roof for that to happen and they figured they would wait until it warms up a bit."

Actual photo of full tank of gas on the roof

Me: "Holy shit!"

After finding this out, I knew I had to act fast and find a spot.

I searched for quite some time before settling on our current space. It was a bit more than I needed at the time, but there wasn't much available out there that fit my needs and I figured "screw it. We will grow into it."

3 months later and we were moved into our current space. We would function for the first couple of months in the new space with:

-no A/C (this lead to a couple of clients dropping their memberships temporarily)

-no phone (didn't have it for 6 months)

-no internet (didn't have it for 6 months)

-no plumbing for the first couple of weeks

I was moved into a space that was not ready to be occupied but that's a story for another day.

Those fires were crazy times of owning a business, and I will never forget them.

I still have a lot of questions that remain unanswered to this day.

What was really going down next door?

Was someone mad at me and they were targeting me?

My landlord seemed not to be too bothered by all of this...was he the one who was trying to burn the building down to collect on insurance?

I'll never know and to me, that just adds to the mystery of the story.

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Mike Coval

Coval Fitness is a Personal Training Studio and Gym in Ann Arbor, Michigan

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