The plane's flaming wreckage injured three other people, damaged houses, and left debris over four blocks in the stunned community in Yorba Linda, about 33 miles south of Los Angeles, authorities and affiliate reports said.
Residents in the Yorba Linda area began to panic at around 2 p.m. when the small plane appeared to break apart in midair, scattering debris across the neighborhood, authorities said.
"It may take up to one year to get a full report into the cause of the deadly crash", according to ABC7.
The second engine dislodged and fell onto the street, creating a large hole in the asphalt, according to Eliott Simpson, an aviation accident investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board.
Cory Martino says the pilot died as well as four occupants of the home in Yorba Linda, which is about 35 miles southeast of Los Angeles. "It shook our house", he said.
The two injured were taken to a hospital and treated for moderate burns, the Orange Country Register reported.
Two men and two women were killed in the blaze, the newspaper said.
Authorities say a small plane has crashed in a suburban Southern California neighborhood and has ignited a fire that burned two houses.
Clint Langford, another neighbor, recalled hearing a low rumbling sound right before the crash.
"The main cabin of the airplane, along with one of the engines, came to rest at the bottom of a ravine in the backyard of somebody's house", he said. "The plane didn't hit and scatter". He said that, based on video he'd seen and the debris field, the plane appeared to have broken up in the air. "It was scary", he said.
Video showed panicked residents running to the house as flames and dark smoke engulfed it. The Federal Aviation Administration said the twin-engine Cessna 414A crashed in Yorba Linda shortly after taking off from the Fullerton Municipal Airport Sunday afternoon.
He didn't know whether the people killed were on board the plane or on the ground.