FBI probes attacks on women's clinics - KMSP-TV

FBI probes attacks on women's clinics

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COBB COUNTY, Ga. -

Federal agents say an arsonist is on the loose. They say someone set fire at women's clinics in Cobb and Gwinnett counties this week. It is not clear if the two fires are related.

The latest blaze occurred Tuesday morning at the Alpha Group OB GYN Abortion Services and Counseling on Powers Ferry Road in Marietta.

Office manager Angela Buckner said an employee saw smoke and notified other workers. At the time, there were reportedly about 17 employees along with patients in the building. Buckner said one doctor began fighting the flames using fire extinguishers.

"He saved our lives, I mean, every one of us," said Buckner.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, there was heavy smoke coming from the building. Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services said that the head of the practice was trapped on the third floor and had to be rescued.

Most of the damaged was said to be limited to the top floor, where records are kept.

The FBI is calling the fire suspicious and says it could be a case of arson. They released a picture of a man, described as a potential witness, who eyewitnesses say was seen in the area on a smart phone at the time of the fire. He is described as being between 5-foot-10 to 6-feet tall and was wearing a blue polo shirt with an emblem on the left chest and khaki pants.

Eyewitnesses described the man's car as a gray Mercury Marquis with tinted windows and large chrome wheels.

The fire in Cobb County followed an attempted arson at another women's clinic in Gwinnett County.

The FBI says it happened at a facility on Pleasant Hill Road. They said that the front window of that clinic was broken followed by a fire alarm. A K-9 later indicated an incendiary substance was present, according to officials.

The FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force and the FBI Atlanta Civil Rights Squad are also involved in the investigation.

Authorities say three burglaries and two fires have occurred in recent weeks. Officials with Gwinnett County, Cobb County, Lilburn and Sandy Springs are comparing notes on the incidents.

Authorities are asking anyone with information on the two arson incidents to give them a call at 404-679-9000.

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