Boaters tied alongside the turning basin docks on the Petaluma River were awakened by a fire aboard a neighboring boat early on Saturday morning. Latitude 38’s newest delivery drivers, Dale Land and Bob Boynton, were docked nearby, relaxing over the Veterans Day weekend, when the incident occurred.
“I heard some commotion and talking on the docks [at] about 4 a.m., heard a muffled explosion, and then looked out and saw the flames,” Bob said, and described the ensuing scene as “a little chaotic.”
According to a report in The Press Democrat, the Petaluma Fire Department was alerted at 4 a.m. and arrived to the boat that was “engulfed in flames.” They were able to put the fire out in about 30 minutes. The boat’s two occupants escaped unharmed.
Despite being in shock and visibly upset, the unnamed occupants told Dale they were from Vallejo and had come up for the weekend to visit friends who live in town. Jim Newhall, a friend of the Latitude drivers-turned-rookie-reporters, was even closer to the blaze, staying aboard his 48-ft powerboat, and snapped some photos of the burning vessel.
The burned boat was docked in front of the River Front Café.