The owners of the home damaged when a plane crashed in southwest suburban Plainfield Thursday say they’re just grateful no one inside was hurt.
“We have to look at the bright side, and there is a bright side. She’s standing here,” said homeowner Rick Daniel.
Daniel’s wife, Patti Daniel, was inside the home when the plane crashed just outside their front door in the quiet suburban neighborhood, causing their home to catch fire. Patti Daniel was just feet away when a wall inside burst into flames.
“Thankful that it didn’t land on my roof or into my house because I would have been killed,” she said. “That’s what would have happened. It would have been right on top of me from where I was sitting.”
The pilot, who was the only person on the aircraft at the time, was killed in the crash. It remained unclear Friday what caused the crash, but investigators said they were still gathering evidence.
Pieces of the plane were found at more than five sites in the area. Authorities were working to recover the wreckage and gather information on the pilot and the plane’s history.
The flight took off from Florida, made a stop in Tennessee and crashed while en route to Wisconsin.
"I could hear the one engine just grinding, grinding, grinding so I guess the pilot was trying to pull up and take off on the throttle, but he couldn't get it back up and just went faster and faster, tailspinning to the ground," said witness Gene Williams. "I had never seen anything like it. I've never seen a plane just lose control, tailspinning straight down as fast as it was going."
The Daniels say they plan to rebuild and continue living in their home.
“It’s emotional now,” Rick Daniel said. “Twenty-five years we have been here. Raised the family here. We’ll have been married 36 years and 25 here so this is our life.”