HEMET, Calif. -- A small plane crashed into the backyard of a Southern California home on Tuesday and the pilot was hospitalized with critical burn injuries, authorities said.
The fiery crash happened around 9:35 a.m. in the city of Hemet, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) east of Los Angeles.
The pilot, the plane's sole occupant, was driven to a nearby hospital and later flown to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center's burn unit in critical condition, officials said.
Eugene Barron, who lives next door, said he and another neighbor used a garden hose to douse the fire. He said the pilot was conscious and speaking after being consumed by flames.
“I just pray that he lives because he was ... covered in fire,” Barron told CBS Los Angeles.
Two people who were in the house were unharmed, Fire Chief Eddie Sell said.
The Beechcraft 77 appeared to have crashed through a cinder-block wall and into the backyard, according to TV news images.
The cause of the crash was under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.