Photo Credit: Petaluma Fire Chief Jeff Schach
A vintage airplane caught fire in a hangar at a California airport Monday, quickly spreading to a nearby vintage Corvette sitting next to it.
While all that remains of the Piper Cub airplane is the skeleton and the prop, the Corvette’s fiberglass body is charred but at least you can still tell it was an early chrome-bumper C3 – for what that’s worth.
The good news is that the fire in the privately-owned hangar didn’t injure anyone at the Petaluma Municipal Airport, and the blaze didn’t spread to the other adjoining hangars, nearby homes, or dry vegetation surrounding the airport – always a concern considering that planes can carry a lot of fuel and there are sometimes flammable solvents and chemicals stored inside a hangar.
Units of the Petaluma Fire Department which happened to be nearby received the call at 11:42 a.m., and by 11:58 a.m., firefighters had knocked down the blaze, preventing further damage to the estimated $2 million in assets surrounding the damaged hangar. Still, according to KTVU News, the damages from the fire could be more than $150,000.
“Nobody was hurt, including pedestrians,” Petaluma Fire Department Battalion Chief Kevin Weaver told the Petaluma Argus-Courier, “and there was nobody in the building when it caught on fire. It didn’t spread to any of the other exposures. Io the backside, there are some high-end RVs, but fortunately, it didn’t get any of those.”
Bay City News reports that the fire apparently started after the owner of the airplane completed a flight, stored the plane, and walked out of the hangar.
“He just finished flying it, and while he was away for just a few minutes there was an explosion,” Petaluma Fire Chief Jeff Schach said.
A citizen who saw the fire and wishes to remain anonymous told the Argus-Courier that she saw black smoke billowing and wondered what was going on. “We didn’t think about calling,” she said. “I wanted to turn away. I didn’t really want to breathe it.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
[STOLEN] Corvette Thief Given Six Years in Prison for Stealing and Destroying a 1974 Corvette
[VIDEO] Corvette Assembly Plant Catches Fire After EF-2 Tornado Strikes Bowling Green Overnight
[ACCIDENT] Fire Department Rushes to Save a Burning 1973 Corvette