Authorities say a small plane has crashed in a suburban Southern California neighbourhood and has ignited a fire that burned two houses.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the twin-engine Cessna 414A crashed in Yorba Linda shortly after taking off from the Fullerton Municipal Airport.

FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said an unknown number of people on the ground were injured.

He did not immediately have information on the number of people in the plane.

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Video posted on Twitter showed panicked residents running to a suburban home that was engulfed in flames.

Images also showed a propeller and plane debris scattered across a driveway and a man dousing a burning object that was on the street with a garden hose.

- AP