State investigates fire at Panhandle abortion clinic

PENSACOLA, Fla. - The State Fire Marshall's office is investigating a fire that gutted a Florida Panhandle clinic that has been the target of abortion protests.

Pensacola Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Peake tells the Pensacola News Journal that the two-story building housing the American Family Planning clinic was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived just after 1 a.m. Sunday.

No one was injured.

Peake said the investigation was turned over to the state. The clinic formerly known as The Ladies Center and as Community Healthcare has been targeted by abortion protesters for decades.

The clinic was bombed in 1984, and in 1994 a doctor and a volunteer who escorted patients were shot to death as they arrived. The gunman, Paul Hill, was executed in 2003.

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