SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (AP) — Two people were killed when a single-engine plane crashed next to a house in Northern California shortly after takeoff, authorities said Sunday.
The four-seater Beech 35 Bonanza sparked a fire on a side of the house in South Lake Tahoe, but it was quickly extinguished Saturday.
The two-story house is less than a mile from the airport, in a semi-rural neighborhood surrounded by pine trees. The crash occurred about 5:40 p.m.
Maja Smith, an aviation accident investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, said the plane contained only the two people. She said she didn’t know the identities of the victims and the plane’s destination wasn’t immediately known.
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The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office did not return calls for comment.
Ginger Nicolay-Davis, a real estate agent who manages the house as a vacation rental, said two people and a dog inside the house got out safely. No one on the ground was hurt.
“They were sitting there relaxing in the living room and they heard what sounded like a tree had fallen,” she said. “They assumed a tree had taken out a power line.”
She said fire damage to the house is significant, but it could have been worse given the woodsy location.
She said the pair inside the home, which included San Francisco playwright Rod McFadden, rushed outside without shoes and headed back to San Francisco. McFadden was in town for a three-day word and performance festival on the shores of South Lake Tahoe.
The Federal Aviation Administration is also investigating the crash, along with the national transportation board.