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Petaluma police rescue woman, 4 dogs from burning car

PIX Now - Noon 6/19/23
PIX Now - Noon 6/19/23 07:54

PETALUMA - Petaluma police officers suffered minor injuries while pulling a woman from a burning vehicle after she allegedly set herself on fire Sunday night. 

At about 11:45 p.m., officers were called to the 400 block of E Street near Walnut Park to investigate repeated complaints about a woman allegedly doing drugs and making disturbances, Petaluma police officials said.

When they got to the scene, officers tried to talk to the woman, who had covered all the vehicle's windows and allegedly refused to respond. 

At one point the woman slightly rolled down the driver's side window and dropped out a lit piece of paper, police said.

Officers backed off to speak with the person who originally called the police and when they returned to the vehicle, the woman allegedly removed the window coverings and ignited a plastic gas can she was holding on her lap.

The officers broke the vehicle's windows to get the woman and her four dogs out and tried to douse the flams with fire extinguishers, according to police.

The woman was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries and the dogs, who weren't badly hurt, were taken to North Bay Animal Services.

The officers suffered minor burns and cuts and were offered trauma support services from trained counselors.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis in Petaluma, the city's Specialized Assistance for Everyone (SAFE) program can be reached at (707) 781-1234 or people can call 988 for the suicide crisis hotline.   

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