REMSCHEID, West Germany (AP) _ Wolfgang Guenther ran into the street to search for his daughters after his neighborhood was set afire Thursday by the crash of a U.S. warplane.

He finally saw them coming from the direction of the downed U.S. Air Force A-10, which left a scene of burned out buildings and cars.

''I was so very happy to see them alive, expecially after they told me they saw the plane crash,'' Guenther said.

''They told me the plane came in low over their high school and they could even see the pilot in the plane,'' said the 43-year-old father, who lives about a half-mile from the crash site and went outside after he heard an explosion.

''The plane rammed into a building that was right in front of them. They're home now and they are in shock. They ran away to escape,'' he said, his voice trembling.

The high school in the Hasten district of Remscheid where Guenther's daughters attend is less than a mile away from the crash site. It was not damaged.

Guenther said his daughters told him they saw a huge ball of fire when the plane smashed into the building in front of them.

Police and firefighters warned residents to close their windows in case poisonous gas escaped because of the crash.

Christine Czerwien, 36, said military planes often fly over the area.

''In the summertime it's horrible, it seems like hundreds of them. In the winter it's not normally so bad,'' Ms. Czerwien said.

''I've really been frightened by all these planes that have been flying over our heads every day. I kept thinking what I would do if my kids were missing after a thing like this.''

Her two sons, aged 9 and 11, were not hurt.