Local fire officials report a pro-life pregnancy center in Peoria, Illinois, was deliberately set on fire Monday, causing at least 250,000 dollars in damage.
According to The Journal Star, the Peoria Fire Department determined that the fire at the Women's Care Center was an act of arson early Monday morning. It was unclear what prompted authorities to conclude it was arson, but the fire department said the state fire marshal's office and the Peoria Police Department are aiding with the investigation.
LifeNews reports that around 2:40 am, firefighters were dispatched to the pregnancy center, located at 7319 N. University St., based on a report of a structure fire. When they reached the scene, they discovered a large fire erupting from the center's front windows. The fire was extinguished in about 20 minutes, but firefighters stayed on the scene for hours while investigators assessed the damage.
Christine Dennis, the pregnancy center's founder and board member, said that in addition to the structural damage, the fire destroyed diapers, clothes, and other supplies that the pregnancy center gives out for free to mothers and babies.
Nonetheless, Connie McClure, the director of client care at the pregnancy center, told The Journal Star that, even though the fire may have burned some of the supplies and caused significant damage, it will not stop them from helping mothers and babies.
According to the pregnancy center's website, "Women's Care Center provides free, confidential counseling, support and education for pregnant women. Free pregnancy testing and ultrasounds help determine viability and dates (prenatal medical care and abortions not provided)."
In a separate interview, Dennis told The Catholic Post that they have 500 women on their client list who are expecting in the coming months. She also encouraged people to donate if they could, adding, "If called beyond prayer, we need financial assistance in rebuilding."
Donations can be made online by visiting the Women's Care Center of Peoria website.
Photo courtesy: Zoltan Tasi/Unsplash
John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.