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Planned Parenthood rebuilds from Pullman arson

The Planned Parenthood in Pullman reopened Friday after an arson fire damaged the building six months ago. 

PULLMAN, Wash. -- Almost 100 people were present at the Planned Parenthood in Pullman when it reopened Friday.

The building was damaged from an arson fire on September 4. Windows were broken and flames crawled toward the roof. When crews arrived on the scene, they deemed the building unsafe.

The FBI and other federal agencies investigated the case because of the history of anti-abortion activists targeting health care providers offering abortion services.

Planned Parenthood protests took place in Pullman a few weeks prior to the fire. But officers said those demonstrators were very peaceful and family friendly.

First Lady of Washington Trudi Inslee was present at the event Friday. "We must defend reproductive rights and health," Inslee said.

For patients like Jennifer Murray, the memories of last September’s attack are still fresh.

“It felt personal. I knew that it wasn’t, but it definitely felt as though somebody knew that I needed this and they decided to take it away right then,” said Murray.

According to investigators, security cameras captured an arsonist throwing a so-called firebomb into the building.

The fire gutted the building’s interior, causing $800,000 in damage.

At last check, authorities were unable to identify who was responsible for the attack.

“It’s on people’s minds. You can’t ignore it, you can’t deny it. It was something we had to process, talk about, work through,” said Planned Parenthood Regional CEO Karl Eastlund.

The regional Planned Parenthood chapter had to pay $250,000 out of pocked to rebuild the center. That cost was covered by donations. All of the equipment had to be replaced.

The major improvement of the chapter was safety.

“There’s a significant increase in security, whether that’s cameras, increased resistance glass, lights, that kind of thing,” said Eastlund.

The lights are new and the glass is thicker than before. All part of the peace of mind that patients like Murray are happy to have back.

“It feels like I get to breath. Somebody lifted a weight,” said Murray.

Planned Parenthood staff confirmed that they will have security staff patrol the area on a regular basis for the time being.