Mike Lindbery says crews arrived to find the building’s sprinklers had extinguished most of the flames. Firefighters responded and found a small fire burning in the lobby, which activated the sprinkler system, according to the Ventura County Fire Department. Police said that person then used a few sort of accelerant to start a fire.
Four weeks ago, a Planned Parenthood facility in Pullman, Washington, was set on fire causing significant damage to the building.
Planned Parenthood has been in recent news headlines, with USA congressional Republicans debating Planned Parenthood’s eligibility for federal funds.
The attack comes as Planned Parenthood is facing an uphill battle ranging from accusations of its CEO’s high salary and “lavish” spending by the group to accusations that Planned Parenthood broke the law by allegedly selling fetal tissue for research.
Jenna Tosh, chief executive of Planned Parenthood of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties, said in a statement Thursday that “we are determined to reopen as soon as possible to serve the healthcare needs of our patients”.
The attack on the Thousand Oaks facility generated press releases from State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, Congressmember Lois Capps, and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, who bemoaned the “dangerous consequences” of “toxic rhetoric”. This is not the first time Planned Parenthood has come under physical attack.
Arson and sheriff’s investigators are examining the fire and have pulled surveillance video footage from the building’s security cameras.
Tosh said Planned Parenthood remains committed to the health and safety of its patients – an estimated 7,000 a year use the Thousand Oaks clinic.