The clinic, which offers abortions, reportedly caught fire around 6:30 a.m., the Knoxville Fire Department said in a 9:30 statement.
“On arrival, the companies discovered that a large single-story commercial building was entirely associated with a fire that penetrated the roof,” the department’s statement read. “The crew initially attacked the fire defensively from the outside. The fire is currently under control and will be extinguished shortly. The building was being repaired at the time of the fire. The building is a total loss. The fire is currently under investigation. More information will be released as the investigation continues. ”
No injuries were reported in the incident, the department said. The clinic, East Knoxville Planned Parenthood, has been closed for remodeling, Knoxville’s WBIR reported. Location still offers remote appointments. Knoxville police told The Daily Beast that the fire department’s arson investigators were still leading the case as of Friday morning.
The East Knoxville Clinic was hacked earlier this year, when a gunman opened fire on its windows, breaking them. No one was arrested in the attack. The clinic also spent a year and a half under the umbrella of a religious group, “The Church At Planned Parenthood,” which organizes regular protests outside the women’s health facility.
The catastrophic New Year’s Eve fire comes amid an all-out assault on abortion rights in the United States Websites for abortion providers list the Knoxville clinic as one of a handful of fewer than ten. abortion provider in the state. And a conservative majority on the US Supreme Court recently hint of nominal upside down Roe v. Wade decision retention abortion rights in the US.
Tennessee is also facing some of the nation’s strictest anti-selection laws. Last year, Governor Bill Lee signed into law a restrictive measure that prevents abortions as early as six weeks – at which point many people don’t know they’re pregnant. A judge quickly filed an order against the law, preventing it from going into effect, but Tennessee is appealing the ruling in the US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. A similar Texas law, also challenged in the Supreme Court, threatens precedent-setting measures that would ban abortions after six weeks.
Knoxville Fire officials said nine of their companies responded to the blaze, but its advanced progress prevented them from battling it inside the building. The department has shared images of the aftermath that show the interior of the clinic being completely gutted.
Completely demolishing the building could be a challenge for an arson investigation, Knoxville’s assistant fire chief told WBIR, because the clinic was “completely destroyed.”
https://www.thedailybeast.com/east-knoxville-planned-parenthood-abortion-clinic-destroyed-by-fire-in-tennessee?source=articles&via=rss Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinic in East Knoxville Burns to Fire in Tennessee