Investigators: Fire at Planned Parenthood intentionally set
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A fire that destroyed a Tennessee Planned Parenthood clinic was intentionally set, fire officials said Thursday.
Officials are looking for a suspect and asked the public to provide tips to the Knoxville Fire Department, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.
The building erupted in flames last Friday, with fire shooting through the roof.
The fire was the second time the clinic was targeted last year. Someone fired a shotgun at the clinic’s doors in January, shattering glass and leaving holes in the reception area. The clinic was closed and unoccupied at the time of the shooting.
The building was also unoccupied during the fire and had been closed for several weeks for a $2.2 million renovation. It is the organization’s only branch in East Tennessee.
“We are heartbroken at the loss of our beautiful new building, but I’m here to tell you that we are committed to Knoxville and East Tennessee, and we are determined to rebuild. Knoxville wants Planned Parenthood, our patients need us to be here and we are going to be here,” Ashley Coffield, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi, said Thursday at a news conference at the clinic’s site.