Easton, MA – Investigators say a water heater’s pilot light ignited leaking gas triggering an explosion which shredded a two-story home in Easton yesterday.

State police investigators, assigned to state Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan, announced their preliminary findings to the Herald this afternoon.

The explosion, which happened at about 11:10 a.m., shook the entire neighborhood and reduced 39 Jenny Lind St. to a charred pile of a rubble. Four Stonehill College students, inside at the time of the blast, miraculously crawled alive from the wreckage.

Jennifer Mieth, a spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Fire Services, said investigators “have determined (Monday’s) fire and explosion was caused by an unintentional natural gas explosion.”

She added the gas was ignited by a pilot light on a natural gas water heater inside the doomed house.

“We have not yet been able to interview the two gas company employees who would be able to give us a better description of what happened,” said Mieth.