Planned Parenthood has secured temporary office space on Merrimon Avenue and will begin seeing patients there on Monday, officials said this afternoon.
A Feb. 17 fire burned a utility room and kitchen at Planned Parenthood’s offices on Biltmore Avenue, causing severe smoke and fire damage.
Walter Klausmeier, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood Health Systems in Raleigh, held a news conference in a former chiropractic office at 388 Merrimon Ave. to deliver an update on progress since the fire.
Klausmeier said the accidental fire in an electrical system caused a small gas-furnace explosion. Patient records were protected and didn’t suffer damage, he said. Since the blaze, patients have been served over the phone, had prescriptions delivered by mail or were seen at other local health-care offices, said Lori Thornton, regional director of medical services.
Planned Parenthood, celebrating 30 years in Asheville this year, is working on cleaning up the Biltmore location while also looking at other permanent locations, Klausmeier said. The office, the only Planned Parenthood location in Western North Carolina, serves about 3,000 patients.
Klausmeier thanked fire crews that responded. He also thanked local supporters and volunteers who have come to the organization’s aid since the fire.
Anyone with questions should call the office at 252-7928.
— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor