Planned Parenthood fire in Newbury Park deemed arson

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A fire that erupted inside a Planned Parenthood office in the Newbury Park area of Thousand Oaks was determined to be arson. (KABC)

A fire that erupted inside a Planned Parenthood office in the Newbury Park area of Thousand Oaks was determined to be arson.

According to arson investigators, a suspect smashed a window on the ground floor of the facility using a blunt object, likely a rock, to make entry.


Officials also said the culprit used some sort of accelerant and ignited the substance. The type of chemical used has not been determined.

Sheriff's officials said the facility did not receive any threats prior to the fire, and the location has not experienced problems in the past.

"There has been an uptick in security incidents on women's health centers, and particularly Planned Parenthood across the country, and our top priority today and every day is to the health and safety of our patients and our staff," said Jenna Tosh, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo.

Fortunately, no one was injured, and there was minimal fire damage because the overhead sprinklers were activated quickly. However, the property did incur some water damage. The total damage estimate was not immediately available.

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The fire was reported around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 1200 block of West Hillcrest Drive. Ventura County sheriff's investigators said the small blaze triggered the fire alarm at the scene.

The blaze comes at a time when Planned Parenthood is under a microscope after activists released undercover video suggesting the organization was somehow profiting from fetal tissue they were allegedly harvesting from abortions.

Planned Parenthood also made headlines this week when the organization's president Cecile Richards faced intense questioning at a heated congressional hearing.

Sheriff's officials said they will likely inspect footage from surveillance cameras to aid their investigation.
Related Topics:
firearson investigationNewbury ParkVentura County
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