A natural gas explosion and fire reduced a duplex to rubble Tuesday afternoon on Delaware's southeast side.

A natural gas explosion and fire reduced a duplex to rubble Tuesday afternoon on Delaware's southeast side.

The blast rocked a duplex on Cheshire Street, just north of Hayes Street, at about 12:35 p.m. City of Delaware spokesman Lee Yoakum said the explosion could be heard at City Hall downtown, about 4,000 feet away.

A second home, on the north side of the destroyed building, was damaged.

Two residents of the buildings were hospitalized as a precaution, Yoakum said. Firefighters said that debris from the duplex was found up to a half-mile away from the scene of the blast, WBNS-10TV reported.

Neighbor Fred Bennett said he showed up at the duplex moments after the blast and spotted two people trying to get out, 10TV said. "They were just covered with all kinds of debris," Bennett said. "They didn't even know what happened. It was unbelievable."