Crime & Justice

Planned Parenthood in Thousand Oaks intentionally set on fire

County Fire Capt. Mike Lindbery says crews arrived late Wednesday, September 30, 2015, to find a Planned Parenthood office building's sprinklers had extinguished most of the flames after a fire broke out. Investigators are calling the fire suspicious in nature.
County Fire Capt. Mike Lindbery says crews arrived late Wednesday, September 30, 2015, to find a Planned Parenthood office building's sprinklers had extinguished most of the flames after a fire broke out. Investigators are calling the fire suspicious in nature.
NBC4

A Planned Parenthood in Thousand Oaks was vandalized and set on fire Wednesday night, according to an investigation by arson investigators from the Fire Department and the Sheriff's Department.

"One individual came up, smashed the window with a rock," Captain John Reilly from the Ventura County Sheriff's Office told KPCC. "Once the window was smashed, he threw an accelerant onto the location and ignited it."

The suspect has not been found. A surveillance video shows the person, but the video doesn't provide much information, Reilly said. 

"I think that these acts of violence are unacceptable," Jenna Tosh, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties said. "This is a criminal attack, and it was on a center that provides over 7,000 women and men every year with life-saving preventive care, including cancer screenings, and birth control, and sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment."

Tosh said there is extensive water damage on the property, as the fire was put out by the facility's sprinkler system. Patients who were scheduled to come in Thursday were sent to be seen at Planned Parenthood's Ventura Health Center. 

"We're working now to assess and repair the damage, and we're working to reopen our stores as quickly as possible — anticipated within the next several days," Tosh said. 

There were no details or a cost estimate on the damage caused by the fire, Reilly said. No one was reported injured, and an investigation is underway.

County Fire Capt. Mike Lindbery says crews arrived to find the building's sprinklers had extinguished most of the flames, according to the Associated Press. Officials say there was likely more damage from the sprinklers than from the fire itself.

Planned Parenthood has faced criticism and congressional backlash for its practice of supplying tissue from aborted fetuses for scientific research.

This story has been updated.