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(CNN) —  

An emergency landing went horribly wrong Sunday night as a plane crashed in San Antonio, leaving three dead, according to fire officials.

One of the victims was 22-year-old Eric Naranjo, his father told CNN affiliate KABB.

“He was a little shy when he was in high school,” Severo Naranjo told the news station. “The best thing he ever did was go to (University of Texas at) San Antonio, because he just opened and blossomed like a flower.”

The small, single-engine plane was leaving Sugar Land and headed to Boerne, Texas, when it developed engine trouble, San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood told CNN affiliate KSAT-TV.

The pilot wanted to make an emergency landing at San Antonio International Airport, Hood said, but ended up crashing into the street.

“I thought I heard a car crash into some dumpsters. But that’s not what it was at all,” Catherine Law, 26, told CNN affiliate KABB-TV.

Reports of the crash came in around 6:30 p.m. CST, Hood said. The aircraft was found on the sidewalk and street completely demolished when first responders arrived.

“There were no commercial buildings hit, no apartment complexes,” he said. “As tragic as it is, it could’ve been much worse.”

A 20-block scan of the area was conducted in every direction to ensure no debris remained, Hood said.

The San Antonio Fire Department is working with police and the city’s Aviation Department on the investigation. Hood said his department was awaiting a call from the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration for the next phase of the investigation.

CNN’s Jeremy Grisham contributed to this report.