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LA Fitness reopens after sauna fire

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Hyde Park’s LA Fitness is back open after a sauna fire temporarily shut down the facility last week.

Marques Davis, the assistant general manager at the gym chain’s location, 5224 S. Lake Park Ave., said the fire began around 4 a.m. on March 6. It started in the sauna and spread to the nearby locker rooms. 

The lockers are functional again but the sauna is out of commission pending repair, Davis said. The gym, which leases the Harper Court space from the University of Chicago, reopened on Wednesday. 

The Chicago Fire Department reported no calls for the address. The cause of the fire is unknown.

The pool and hot tub are also shut for routine draining and cleaning through March 19, Davis added, which is unrelated to the sauna fire. 

This week’s opening came as a surprise to local members, who were initially informed by the gym chain’s app that repairs to the facility would last through June of 2051. 

Several members told the Herald they experienced “no communication” from the company when the Harper Court facility first closed, and tried in vain last week to cancel their memberships, fearing that the gym’s closure was indefinite. 

“(LA Fitness) closed the gym and would not tell me when it was open,” said Shane Cleminson, a member since last year. “(They) left me no option but to find another gym.” 

Cleminson said he only learned the gym had reopened while trying to cancel his membership.

Davis said members should get in touch with LA Fitness corporate regarding any refund and cancellation questions. 

He also said staff are still trying to get the word out that the gym has reopened. 

“Everybody’s still under the assumption that we closed down,” he said. “We are back open every day.”

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