Two people are dead after a plane crashed into the back yard of a home in Mountainaire south of Flagstaff a little before 11:43 a.m. today.
The pilot of the single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza reported trouble gaining altitude after leaving the Flagstaff Pulliam Airport shortly before noon, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
The plane crashed in a forested area about 50 feet from the nearest home and was engulfed in flames.
The identities of the victims have not been released.
Neighbors near the crash site on Iroquois Drive said the plane clipped several trees before crashing behind a house and touching off a small forest fire.
“I heard it fly over the house really low,” said resident Justin Adams. “… it didn’t sound right. The motor was sputtering out.”
Neighbors attempted to come to the aid of the occupants but were rebuffed by flames.
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Two were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.
Responding to the scene were Guardian Medical, Highlands Fire District, the Bear Jaw firefighting crew, and the Coconino County Sheriff's Office.
Firefighters credited residents with responding quickly and calling for help.
Eric True of the Highlands Fire District says crews have suppressed a quarter-acre fire resulting from the crash.