Springfield, MO. – Springfield officials say an explosion that destroyed a home and damaged several others was caused by a natural gas leak.

The home of Albert Lee Brown and Deborah Green was reduced to rubble Thursday while the couple was at a restaurant.

Springfield city spokeswoman Louise Whall says the couple was replacing a water heater and had not properly turned off the gas.

The explosion totally destroyed the home where Green and Brown lived. It left five nearby homes structurally unlivable and city officials say 12 other homes are temporarily unlivable because utilities were shut off.

The blast shattered windows for blocks and residents from miles away said they heard or felt it. No serious injuries were reported.