Man charged in death of S.A. firefighter started crowdfunding page for gym he’s accused of burning

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Photo: Gofundme/The Spartan Box Recovery Fund

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On May 19, 2017, Emond Johnson set up a gofundme fundraising account following the fire at The Spartan Box gym, a blaze that claimed the life of firefighter Scott Deem.

On May 19, 2017, Emond Johnson set up a gofundme fundraising account following the fire at The Spartan Box gym, a blaze that claimed the life of firefighter Scott Deem.

Photo: Gofundme/The Spartan Box Recovery Fund

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On May 19, 2017, Emond Johnson posted on Facebook about the fire at The Spartan Box gym, a blaze that claimed the life of firefighter Scott Deem.

On May 19, 2017, Emond Johnson posted on Facebook about the fire at The Spartan Box gym, a blaze that claimed the life of firefighter Scott Deem.

Photo: Facebook/bootcamp.spartans

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Emond Johnson, 39, is accused of arson and murder.

Emond Johnson, 39, is accused of arson and murder.

Photo: Bexar County Jail

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Fire officials walk away from The Spartan Box gym where the body of San Antonio firefighter Scott Deem, was found during a blaze at the Northwest Side strip mall on Ingram Rd. on Friday, May 19, 2017.

Fire officials walk away from The Spartan Box gym where the body of San Antonio firefighter Scott Deem, was found during a blaze at the Northwest Side strip mall on Ingram Rd. on Friday, May 19, 2017.

Photo: Bob Owen, Staff / San Antonio Express-News

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Emergency personnel work the scene of a fire Friday May 19, 2017 at Ingram Square. Firefighter Scott Deem died battling the blaze.

Emergency personnel work the scene of a fire Friday May 19, 2017 at Ingram Square. Firefighter Scott Deem died battling the blaze.

Photo: Edward A. Ornelas, San Antonio Express-News

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Emergency personnel work the scene of a fire Friday May 19, 2017 at Ingram Square. Firefighter Scott Deem died battling the blaze.

Emergency personnel work the scene of a fire Friday May 19, 2017 at Ingram Square. Firefighter Scott Deem died battling the blaze.

Photo: Edward A. Ornelas, San Antonio Express-News

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Emergency personnel work the scene of a fire Friday May 19, 2017 at Ingram Square. Firefighter Scott Deem died battling the blaze.

Emergency personnel work the scene of a fire Friday May 19, 2017 at Ingram Square. Firefighter Scott Deem died battling the blaze.

Photo: Edward A. Ornelas, San Antonio Express-News

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Emergency personnel work the scene of a fire Friday May 19, 2017 at Ingram Square. Firefighter Scott Deem died battling the blaze.

Emergency personnel work the scene of a fire Friday May 19, 2017 at Ingram Square. Firefighter Scott Deem died battling the blaze.

Photo: Edward A. Ornelas, San Antonio Express-News

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Emergency personnel work the scene of a fire Thursday May 18, 2017 at Ingram Square.

Emergency personnel work the scene of a fire Thursday May 18, 2017 at Ingram Square.

Photo: Edward A. Ornelas, Staff / San Antonio Express-News

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Emergency personnel work the scene of a fire Thursday May 18, 2017 at Ingram Square.

Emergency personnel work the scene of a fire Thursday May 18, 2017 at Ingram Square.

Photo: Ken Branca

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San Antonio firefighters work the scene of a fatal fire Thursday, May 18, 2017, at Ingram Square.

San Antonio firefighters work the scene of a fatal fire Thursday, May 18, 2017, at Ingram Square.

Photo: Jacob Beltran, San Antonio Express-News

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Emergency personnel work the scene of a fire Thursday May 18, 2017 at Ingram Square.

Emergency personnel work the scene of a fire Thursday May 18, 2017 at Ingram Square.

Photo: Edward A. Ornelas, Staff / San Antonio Express-News

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Firefighters leave the scene of a fire, Friday May 19, 2017 at Ingram Square, after the body of firefighter Scott Deem was taken away by ambulance.

Firefighters leave the scene of a fire, Friday May 19, 2017 at Ingram Square, after the body of firefighter Scott Deem was taken away by ambulance.

Photo: Edward A. Ornelas, Staff / San Antonio Express-News

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Firefighters gather as they wait for the body of firefighter Scott Deem to be removed from the scene of a fire, Friday May 19, 2017 at Ingram Square.

Firefighters gather as they wait for the body of firefighter Scott Deem to be removed from the scene of a fire, Friday May 19, 2017 at Ingram Square.

Photo: Edward A. Ornelas, San Antonio Express-News

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Emergency personnel work the scene of a fire Thursday May 18, 2017 at Ingram Square.

Emergency personnel work the scene of a fire Thursday May 18, 2017 at Ingram Square.

Photo: Edward A. Ornelas, San Antonio Express-News

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Emergency personnel work the scene of a fire Friday May 19, 2017 at Ingram Square. Firefighter Scott Deem died battling the blaze.

Emergency personnel work the scene of a fire Friday May 19, 2017 at Ingram Square. Firefighter Scott Deem died battling the blaze.

Photo: Edward A. Ornelas, San Antonio Express-News

Image of

Emergency personnel work the scene of a fire Friday May 19, 2017 at Ingram Square. Firefighter Scott Deem died battling the blaze.

Emergency personnel work the scene of a fire Friday May 19, 2017 at Ingram Square. Firefighter Scott Deem died battling the blaze.

Photo: Edward A. Ornelas, San Antonio Express-News

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Firefighters leave the scene of a fire, Friday May 19, 2017 at Ingram Square, after the body of firefighter Scott Deem was taken away by ambulance.

Firefighters leave the scene of a fire, Friday May 19, 2017 at Ingram Square, after the body of firefighter Scott Deem was taken away by ambulance.

Photo: Edward A. Ornelas, San Antonio Express-News

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Emergency personnel work the scene of a fire Thursday May 18, 2017 at Ingram Square.

Emergency personnel work the scene of a fire Thursday May 18, 2017 at Ingram Square.

Photo: Edward A. Ornelas, San Antonio Express-News

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Man charged in death of S.A. firefighter started crowdfunding page for gym he’s accused of burning

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The gym owner accused of setting fire to his own business, causing the death of San Antonio firefighter Scott Deem in May, created a crowdfunding page to get his gym back up and running a day after the blaze.

So far, Emond Johnson, 39, has raised $2,430 to rebuild Spartan Box, the gym he owns in Ingram Square Shopping Center and on which he reportedly owed almost $7,000 in rent.

On the night of May 18, firefighter Scott Deem was killed in a fire at the shopping center and firefighter Brad Phipps was seriously injured. Johnson was arrested Wednesday and was charged with murder and arson.

RELATED: Gym owner charged with murder in death of S.A. firefighter Scott Deem

In an interview with News 4 San Antonio the night of the fire, Johnson, wearing a shirt that read “Proud to be Awesome” and looking calm, said he owned the business next door and was shocked after receiving a call about the fire. The interview was posted on reporter Robert Price’s Twitter Wednesday afternoon.

“I didn’t see nothing actually,” he said. “Some of my members called me telling me the fire was going on.”

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“I thought it was actually a joke. I did not believe it at all. I can’t believe this is happening,” he said.

On May 19, Johnson set up a GoFundMe page to replace “everything that the Spartan Box lost.” Public records show his business was valued at $6,080.

“As of right now the Spartan Box owners and members are trying to rebuild,” he said. “Any funds at this point can help us to go forward after this big tragedy. Please give what you can. Every penny counts.”

He wanted to raise $10,000.

According to an affidavit, at the time of the fire Johnson owed $6,865.28 in rent on Spartan Box, which he was the sole owner of.

“In this instance, the fire effectively terminated the lease and Johnson’s financial obligation,” reads the criminal complaint.

Employment records detailed in the criminal complaint against Johnson show he started working at Lifetime Fitness, another gym, on May 17, one day before the fire.

Staff researcher Misty Harris and staff writer Fares Sabawi contributed to this report.

kbradshaw@express-news.net | Twitter: @kbrad5

This content was originally published here.

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