The outside of the Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Services Center is seen in St. Louis, Missouri.
Saul Loeb/Getty Images
- Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon said Saturday she was “appalled” by the fire that destroyed a Planned Parenthood facility.
- Investigators designated the incident as arson but have not identified any suspects.
- The same Planned Parenthood location was previously the target of a shooting.
The mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee said on Saturday she was “appalled” by the fire that burned down the city’s Planned Parenthood after city officials this week ruled it was set ablaze intentionally.
“I am appalled at the violent destruction of Knoxville’s Planned Parenthood clinic. This criminal act is a serious threat to the public safety of our city and we are committed to bringing the person or people responsible to justice,” Mayor Indya Kincannon tweeted on Saturday.
While investigators have not determined who set the building on fire, they determined it was set intentionally, the New York Times reported. The Knoxville Fire Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) concluded on Thursday that the fire was an arson, according to NPR.
“This is an appalling and heartbreaking act of violence towards Planned Parenthood, our patients, and our community,” said Ashley Coffield, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee & North Mississippi, in a statement.
—Mayor Kincannon (@MayorKincannon) January 8, 2022
The December 31, 2021, blaze resulted in a “total loss” of the building. The building was also been the target of a shooting in January of last year. In both incidents, the building was empty, and no injuries were reported.
“Unfortunately, this is not the first time we have mourned at this health center. As we reckon with this news and the road ahead of us, we remain tremendously grateful for the hard work and determination of the Knoxville Fire Department and the ATF to find the cause of this fire and bring the person, or persons, responsible to justice,” Coffield added.
Kincannon said in a tweet there was a $10,000 reward for information that lead to the “prosecution of anyone involved in any criminal activity related to this fire.”
“I appreciate the diligent and on-going efforts of the Knoxville Fire Department for putting out the fire and working with federal partners to expeditiously and fully investigate this serious crime,” Kincannon said in a tweet.
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