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'We heard like an explosion': Arvada homeowner opens front door to fiery plane crash

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Posted at 4:01 PM, Jun 08, 2024

ARVADA, Colo. — The owner of an Arvada home described the shock he experienced when he opened his front door to a fiery plane crash Friday morning.

Four people remain hospitalized Saturday in serious to critical condition after their 1969 Beechcraft 35 crashed into Randy Hamrick’s front yard after trying to land in the street.

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Hamrick and his wife live at a home near Oberon Road and Brentwood Street. Railroad tracks run nearby. The couple were watching TV that morning around 9:30 a.m. when he said their entire house shook.

"We heard like an explosion," said Hamrick. "Then just a bright orange glow through the windows. I mean, we both looked at each other and [thought] the train derailed. That was the only thing we could think of. There are tanker trains that come through."

But they were shocked when they discovered what had really happened.

"I opened that door, and the plane was fully engulfed in flames," he said.

The plane took off from Centennial Airport and crashed after the pilot radioed that he was experiencing engine problems.

The pilot tried to land in the street but the plane's left wing hit a large spruce tree, skidded down the roadway and veered into Hamrick's yard where it burst into flames.

Hamrick said the flames were coming toward his home and he had originally been told they'd had to evacuate.

"Then they were all rushing in, saying we needed to evacuate the house. My wife's in a wheelchair. This is our only wheelchair ramp is on this side (the front of the home). So we were trying to make some kind of a plan to take her out the front," he said.

'We heard like an explosion': Arvada homeowner opens front door to fiery plane crash

But he said thanks to the fast action from the responding emergency crews, they ended up not having to leave.

Hamrick is hoping for the best for the four people who were on board.

Denver7 reached out to Arvada officials for an update on the victims' conditions but has not heard back.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said it will have a preliminary report on the crash in 30 days. A determination as to what exactly caused the plane crash could take between 12 and 24 months.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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