Sonoma County Woman Reportedly Sets Vehicle on Fire with Herself and Four Dogs Inside
Above: Stock Image
A Sonoma County woman is reportedly in hospital with life-threatening injuries after allegedly setting her vehicle on fire with herself and four dogs inside. The dogs survived with only minor injuries, police said.
According to a press release by the Petaluma Police Department, law enforcement officers were dispatched to the 400 block of E Street on Sunday, June 18, following recurring complaints of suspected drug activity and disturbances associated with a female subject who appeared to have been living inside a vehicle. The officers arrived at the scene and observed that the vehicle’s windows were completely obstructed and covered.
When officers attempted to speak with the woman, she allegedly declined to cooperate and refused to communicate with the officers. At one point, police say, she briefly rolled down the driver’s window and dropped a lit piece of paper out of the vehicle. The officers disengaged for the time being and re-contacted the reporting party to gather additional information, then ultimately making another attempt to check on the woman
During the ensuing interaction, the woman reportedly removed the coverings from the driver’s window, revealing a plastic gas container on her lap. The woman proceeded to ignite the gas by using a lighter, causing the container to catch fire and herself to become engulfed in flames. Officers immediately requested emergency assistance from the Petaluma Fire Department.
Equipped with emergency tools and fire extinguishers retrieved from their patrol vehicles, the officers took broke the windows of the vehicle to access the woman and her four dogs, while also attempting to extinguish the fire.
The officers managed to pull the woman and her dogs from the engulfed vehicle, and began administering aid. The woman was then transported by ambulance to a regional trauma center due to the life-threatening nature of her injuries.
All four dogs were rescued from the incident with minor injuries and are currently under the care of North Bay Animal Services, police said.
The investigation remains active and ongoing.