Planned Parenthood fire suspects at large, arson investigation continues four months later

First responders determined the fire to be arson in January.
The Knoxville Fire Department reported an “intentional” fire set at the clinic Thursday.
The Knoxville Fire Department reported an “intentional” fire set at the clinic Thursday.(WVLT)
Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 7:20 PM CDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Knoxville Fire and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced they are still looking for people involved in the arson at Planned Parenthood. The fire occurred on New Year’s Eve and fortunately the building was vacant at the time because the facility was undergoing a $2.2 million renovation.

The Planned Parenthood facility sat along Cherry St. in East Knoxville only as a foundation with rubble all around it, three months after the fire.

Crime Stoppers Communications Director Stacey Payne said, “We all need to keep in mind that whether you agree with what they do or don’t agree with them, it was a crime.”

After the initial fire, many Planned Parenthood supporters visited the site, disheartened by what was in front of them.

“My stomach is turning over. My heart is breaking,” Catherine Moira said.

Three months into the investigation, Payne said they have only received one tip and worries tips may not be rolling in because of the mixed feelings about Planned Parenthood. She said, regardless, it’s a crime and it could’ve spread to homes in the area.

“They too could’ve been damaged. They could’ve caught on fire. We could’ve had lose of life. There’s a lot of things that could happen,” Payne said.

ATF is offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who provides credible information in the case. People can also submit tips to Crime Stoppers anonymously.

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