Early Saturday morning at 3:17 a.m., The Rancho Adobe Fire Department was dispatched to a vehicle accident in the area of Ely Road and Old Redwood Highway, Penngrove. Battalion 91 arrived on the scene to find a vehicle into the building of the famous green Palace of Fruit. The vehicle was on fire inside the structure and the call was upgraded to a structure fire assignment. The driver of the vehicle, fleeing from CHP officers, and two other occupants previously involved in a police chase, were pulled out of the vehicle by a CHP Officer through the back window. The two female passengers, one with minor injuries, was dispatched to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. The structure was severely damaged by the car crash and extensive fire. According to Rancho Adobe Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Weihman, the car’s gas tank had been ruptured which then fueled the flames as the building began to burn. The fire was contained with the assistance of @petaluma_firefighters @northbayfireca @calfire. No other injuries were reported.
The Palace of Fruit was started in the 1940s and Ken and Gina Ebert took it over from his father in 1992. The structure seems to be a total loss.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help Palace of Fruit to be rebuilt.