Small Change in Routine Might Have Helped Three Escape From House in Fiery Plane Crash

Firefighters protected neighboring houses from flames following the fiery crash northeast of the airport

Three people, including a baby, escaped without injuries when a single-engine plane crashed into a house Thursday in the San Bernardino County community of Upland, igniting a fire. 

The small plane left a large hold in the roof of the home near 15th Street and Mountain Avenue. The crash site is about one mile northeast of Cable Airport.

The pilot was killed.

Three people inside the home are safe, but authorities were searching for a family dog, fire officials said. Family members said a small change in their daily routine might have helped them escape. 

"Normally, our grandson goes down for a nap about that time," said Fred Bishop, the homeowner's father. "And today, he didn't. He was in the kitchen."

Upland police Capt. Marcelo Blanco identified the plane as a single-engine Cirrus SR22, which are equipped with a parachute system that can be deployed in an emergency. A parachute was draped over trees near the home, but it was not immediately clear whether it was deployed before the crash.

Aerial video showed a large hole in the roof of a burned portion of the house. Firefighters appeared to have prevented flames from spreading to nearby homes.

Neighbors said they saw the plane flying low and a loud 'boom.' 

"Gosh, that sounded like that was on our roof," said resident Krisandra Praytor. "I got up, and I went to look outside the window and I heard like a crash."

Witnesses will be speaking with federal aviation safety investigators, who arrived Friday at the crash site. It appears the crash was not captured on any security cameras in the neighborhood.

"We're trying to look through everything that's in the house right now," said NTSB investigator Samantha Link. "It's a little challenging because there's a lot of stuff in there that's burnt, and it's quite tight of an area."

Details about the cause of the crash were not immediately available. The pilot was approaching Cable Airport.

"It's heartbreaking because you don't want to see anything like this happen to anyone. Yes, accidents happen, but it hits close to home," said pilot Ken Earl. "We're all a family in the aviation community."

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