The cause of an explosion and fire at a private hangar Monday morning at Petaluma Municipal Airport remains under investigation by the city's fire officials, who estimate that the incident caused damages of at least $150,000.
Crews responding to the scene, however, were able to prevent the fire from spreading to adjacent hangars in the same building, protecting an estimated $2 million in other assets, including two motorhomes parked at the rear of the building, according to a news release issued Monday night by the Petaluma Fire Department.
The fire was reported at 11:42 a.m. when an off-duty Petaluma Fire Battalion Chief was driving through the area and found the contents of a hangar engulfed in fire.
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The fire started shortly after the owner of a Piper Cub aircraft had 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," said Fire Chief Jeff Schach.
Crews responded to the scene within minutes and contained the fire to the hangar where it started, but it destroyed a small airplane and a classic automobile, Schach said.
Other crews responded to the scene from Rancho Adobe Fire Protection District and North Bay Fire Department.