At least 2 dead in California plane crash that burned homes

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A small plane crashed into a Southern California neighborhood Monday, killing at least two people, injuring two others and setting two homes ablaze, authorities said.

It wasn’t immediately known whether the victims were on the ground or on board the twin-engine Cessna that went down around midday in suburban Santee, about 20 miles (30 kilometers) northeast of downtown San Diego,

Deputy Fire Chief Justin Matsushita said two people died at the scene and two are hospitalized in unknown condition.

Two homes and multiple vehicles, including a box truck, were destroyed by fire, officials said.

"Not to be too graphic but it’s a pretty brutal scene," Matsushita said.

TV news footage about an hour after the crash showed the fire extinguished and two houses and the truck still smoldering and gutted by flames.

Jim Slaff told NBC 7 in San Diego that neighbors pulled his mother out of a window of her burning home and rescued his stepfather from the backyard. It appears their dog died.

Slaff said neighbors told him the couple was "obviously shaken up but doing OK" and taken to UC San Diego Medical Center. "It’s a war zone. It’s not even a house," Slaff said after arriving at the scene.

The plane was a twin-engine Cessna C340, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. It wasn’t immediately known where the flight originated or was headed, or how many people were on board.

The crash happened about three blocks from Santana High School in the city of about 50,000 residents. The school said on Twitter that "all students are secure."

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.