FBI to assist in the investigation of a small fire at Planned Parenthood clinic

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) _ Authorities are investigating a “suspicious” fire at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia that is seeking to regain the ability to offer abortions.  Late Monday afternoon the Columbia Police Department asked the FBI to assist in the investigation

Police said in a news release that officers responded around 4 a.m. Sunday to a fire alarm at the clinic. The release says a small fire started inside the structure and that the building’s sprinkler system extinguished it.

Police spokesman Jeff Pitts said he hasn’t been notified of any arrests and can’t discuss the cause because the investigation is ongoing.

Planned Parenthood was required to stop providing abortions at the clinic last year after new requirements went into effect. Pitts says he can’t discuss whether the abortion issue was related to the fire.

Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Emily Miller says the clinic is closed Monday amid the investigation.

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