The crash happened around 1:50 p.m.at 41 Egret Ct.in Newport Beach, according to the Newport Beach Fire Department.
"I was upstairs and all of a sudden the house just shook and I thought, 'Oh my gosh, we're having an quake, '" said Marian Michaels, who lives behind the home where the helicopter crashed.
Photos show a piece of the tail rotor lodged into the roof of a home across the street.
Details of the moments leading to the crash and the cause were not immediately clear but Chip Duncan, the fire chief in Newport Beach, confirmed three people had died and two others had been taken to hospital with unknown injuries.
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The helicopter helicopterwas a Robinson 44. A woman who lives in the neighborhood heard the crash and ran outside to witness the immediate aftermath.
A nearby resident told the local ABC7 news channel it "sounded like a train coming through". At this time, it's not known whether all of those who were killed were aboard the aircraft or whether any of the home's occupants were injured, fatally or otherwise.
The cause of the crash is now under investigation and will be handled by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.
This story is developing and will be updated as more information becomes available.