Mike Papp from Northglenn, Colorado, said he heard a “buzzing and then a loud boom” Monday afternoon.
A single-engine plane had just crashed straight through the roof of a home in Papp’s neighborhood, but amazingly, given the wreckage, the pilot walked away with only minor injuries.
Papp, speaking with the Denver Post, said he saw the plane flying a Geico insurance banner.
In another interesting twist, the pilot was identified as Brian Veatch. According to KUSA-TV, a man with the same name previously owned the house that was crashed into. KMGH-TV confirmed that Veatch was in fact the former owner and noted that he said he didn’t realize it until someone pointed it out to him after the crash.
North Metro Fire Rescue District responded to the 911 call that came in just before 4 p.m. local time and arrived on the scene in time to see the plane engulfed in flames, its tail sticking out of the roof from a second-floor kitchen, according to the department’s report. The pilot had already gotten out of his own volition.
The commercial banner that was seeing flying behind the plane by witnesses was not present at the scene, leading the fire department to speculate that it was released by the pilot before the crash.
Watch this video of the scene:
The homeowners were not inside at the time, but two pet dogs and a lizard were rescued. The cause of the crash is still unknown, and the Federal Aviation Administration has taken over the investigation, according to the fire department.
Sonny Minjavez, who witnessed the crash, told KUSA the plane was struggling to keep the banner it was touting up. When Minjavez made a U-Turn to keep the plane within sight, he said he saw smoke.
KUSA reported that Veatch is also a firefighter in another district and he was initially trying to put out the plane fire with a garden hose when authorities arrived.