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Authorities investigating arson fire at Peoria Planned Parenthood


Officials say an overnight fire at the Peoria Planned Parenthood clinic was intentionally set.

Peoria Fire Department battalion chief Jeff Hascall said firefighters responded to a call at 2709 N. Knoxville Ave. just after 11:30 p.m. They found fire and smoke showing from one of the front windows. Planned Parenthood of Illinois president and CEO Jennifer Welch said a fire accelerant was thrown through the window.

The fire was brought under control by 12:15 a.m. Nobody was in the building at the time. One firefighter was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

The fire was deemed to be an arson. Damage, estimated at $150,000, to the building are "significant," said Welch.

"Thankfully, no patients or team members were present or harmed. Senseless acts of vandalism have been on the rise across the country and Illinois has become a target as extreme and divisive rhetoric increases," Welch said in a statement.

Abortion procedures are not performed at the Peoria Planned Parenthood clinic, though abortion pills effective through the 11th week of pregnancy are available. The clinic offers services, including birth control, sexually-transmitted infection testing and treatment, and hormone replacement therapy for trans patients.

Welch said Planned Parenthood will work with authorities to prosecute those responsible "to the fullest extent of the law." No arrests have been made.

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Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.
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