A small plane crashed shortly after taking off from Essex County Airport killing the pilot.



Smoke rises from a small plane that crashed in West Caldwell (Paul DiFrancescantonio, West Essex NOW)

ABC 7 reports the pilot of the Cessna 206 died in the crash shortly after takeoff around after 10 a.m. on Saturday morning about a half-mile from the Essex County Airport.

The plane came down near a wooded area and sparked a brush fire that closed Passaic Avenue between Beverly Road and Fairfield Avenue for a time. The fire destroyed most of the plane which had been en route to Teterboro Airport. The pilot was the only person on board according to CBS New York.

NBC 4 New York reports a witness saw the plane go down behind a Kiddie Academy daycare center which was not damaged. There were loud explosions upon impact according to ABC 7 and other media outlets.

The National Transportation Safety Board says they are investigating the crash and  debris related to the accident will be left in place until their arrival according to NBC New York.

Authorities say the cause of the crash was not immediately known.

The Associated Press contributed to this report