Anchorage, Alaska: A small plane crashed into an office building in downtown Anchorage early on Tuesday morning, killing one occupant.
Anchorage police said they first received reports that a small plane crashed into a building at 6.19am on Tuesday local time.
Anchorage police spokeswoman Anita Shell said the plane was reported to be fully engulfed in flames by 6.22am. It struck the building about four storeys up.
Anchorage Fire Department officials said the fire was extinguished within half an hour and firefighters were working to control smoke in buildings.
Several blocks of downtown were blocked off and expected to remain so for several hours, according to fire officials.
The building houses offices of the state departments of Law and Corrections and the district attorney's office. Those offices were closed on Tuesday morning, according to the state Department of Administration.
Alaska Governor Bill Walker was on the scene shortly before 8am.
Anchorage Fire Department battalion chief Alex Boyd said the plane struck a building as it crashed, then came to rest against a second building.
Mr Boyd said there was one confirmed fatality, an occupant of the plane, but officials didn't immediately know how many occupants the plane had.
"The aircraft occupant is the only fatality we know of," Mr Boyd said. There were no injuries on the ground, he said.
Mr Boyd said the aircraft struck an electrical transformer on the outside of a building as it crashed, which forced authorities to shut down power to the area.
National Transportation Safety Board Alaska office chief Clint Johnson said the plane, which he believed was a Cessna 172 or 180, was registered to the Civil Air Patrol.
It probably had a single occupant at the time of the crash, Mr Johnson said, and a flight plan hadn't been filed.
The flight appeared to have been unsanctioned.
"APD [the Anchorage Police Department] made contact with Civil Air Patrol management," Mr Johnson said. "There were no sanctioned flights scheduled at this time."
Mr Johnson said initial accounts suggested the plane approached Anchorage from over Cook Inlet before it crashed.
"I seen the plane coming in and it did a total complete turn and then boom" said Thomas Connell, who witnessed the crash.
"It flew over us twice and then crashed," Mr Connell said. "It was just way low, and then it started sinking on in."
Alaska Dispatch News