A small airplane hit a flagpole and crashed on the front lawn of a vacant Ohio home, killing the pilot, authorities said Friday.

The crash sparked a fire that damaged the house's garage, but no one was inside the Uniontown home at the time, said Ohio State Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Tony Bradshaw.

"The plane was burned pretty extensively," he said.

Bradshaw said the pilot was killed, but no one on the ground was injured. The plane did not have any passengers.

Airport spokeswoman Kristie VanAuken said the pilot was attempting to land at Akron-Canton Airport, which is about two miles from the house, before the crash. The plane went down in a residential area surrounded by farmland.

Neighbors told The Canton Repository that they heard what sounded like an engine sputtering before the crash and that the noise sounded like it was coming from a plane.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

Uniontown is about 10 miles southeast of Akron.