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Cause of Olympia Abortion Clinic Fire Deemed Arson

An early Sunday morning fire at the Eastside Women’s Health Clinic in Olympia, Washington was intentionally set according to local police and federal investigators from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The clinic was closed when the fire was discovered and there were no injuries, reports the Associated Press. The blaze, which caused an estimated $500,000 in damage to the clinic, was the result of incendiary materials set on fire on the roof, according to Scott Thomasson, assistant special agent in charge of ATF’s Seattle Division.

Nancy Armstrong, co-owner of the clinic, told the local CBS station that the facility has been picketed weekly for the past 20 years without any violence and there have not been any recent threats against the facility. Clinic staff met outside with patients who came on Monday and are rescheduling appointments through the clinic’s answering service. Armstrong said the fire will not put the clinic out of business and she hopes to reopen at another location in the next two weeks.

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Sources:

Associated Press 1/11/05; KOIN NEWS 6 Portland; Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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