KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (LifeSiteNews) — On October 31, 2023, the Knoxville Fire Department (KFD) released its report on the blaze which destroyed Knoxville’s Planned Parenthood. They also released hundreds of photographs of the burned building. In their report, KFD investigators concluded: “All fire patterns, evidence and witness statement at the scene support the area of origin as being along the rear wall of the new addition in the area of the exam rooms. Evidence discovered at the scene supports the probable cause of this fire as being intentionally set by a suspect using an ignitable liquid brought to the scene and placed in the rear of the new addition.”
KFD investigators also made observations about access to the building: “The doors and windows in the original structure were in place and locked. The new addition did not have doors and windows installed yet. Temporary doors were built out of plywood and locked with chains and padlocks. The windows were covered with plastic sheeting stapled to the openings… Interviews of fire personal were conducted and it was determined that all doors were in place and locked when the fire department arrived. They did force entry into several door[s] during fire suppression operations. The windows in the new addition were not in place, and covered in plastic that had been stapled up during the construction. These windows and plastic all suffered fire and heat damage and the security of these windows cannot be determined.”
This KFD report indicates that the arsonist either had keyed access or climbed in and out of the building through narrow unsecured windows of the new addition (lighter brick). Mark Reno – the man whom the FBI accused exactly one year ago of setting the blaze – was 62 years old at the time of the fire, according to his obituary. (Reno died in the custody of U.S. Marshals in August of 2022 while awaiting trial on unrelated charges.) In its affidavit accusing Reno, the FBI offered no explanation as to how Reno gained entry to the building.
Although it has released some records, the City of Knoxville has not yet released a video of Mark Reno which was surreptitiously recorded on April 26, 2022, by an investigator for the Knoxville Fire Department. The KFD investigator was working in his official capacity as an employee of the City of Knoxville when he made this recording; the recording was cited by the FBI as evidence against Reno in paragraphs 26 and 27 of this affidavit.
Early on the morning of New Year’s Eve 2021, fire destroyed the Planned Parenthood Center in Knoxville, Tennessee, and within days, the Knoxville Fire Department announced that the fire had been intentionally set. At the time of the fire, the building had been closed for renovation and expansion. The fire made national headlines and was covered by every media outlet from The Tennessee Star to The New York Times. The arson occurred six months before the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2022), which effectively rendered abortion illegal in Tennessee.
Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi (PPTNM) may use federal Title X funds to rebuild in Knoxville. The Biden Administration has routed Title X funding around the State of Tennessee and made grants directly to other regional Planned Parenthood organizations; these, in turn, plan to make sub-grants to PPTNM. Tennessee has responded by suing the Biden administration over this action.