ONTARIO CENTER, N.Y. (AP) _ A gas main ignited in a store basement early today, setting off an explosion that killed two people in an apartment above the shop, authorities said.

The badly burned remains of what authorities believe are the man and woman who lived above the video store were found in the debris of the building late this morning by searchers using dogs, according to John McQueeney, a State Police spokesman.

The bodies were sent to the Monroe County medical examiner's office for autopsies.

Wayne County Sheriff Richard Pisciotti said a gas main ignited in the basement of a video store shortly after midnight. A nearby hardware store was extensively damaged, and about 50 people were evacuated from homes within 1,000 feet of the blast in this community about 15 miles east of Rochester in upstate New York.

The flames were extinguished by daybreak, but firefighters continued to pour water on smoldering wreckage late this morning.

Huge chunks of debris were scattered in the street and flames shot out of a manhole at a nearby intersection. Windows were blown out of a post office and a hotel near the blast site.

''I was just putting a log on the fire. I thought it was one of those sonic booms from an airplane,'' said Shannon Helfer of Walworth, who heard the explosion from her home more than two miles away.

The blast was felt as far away as Marion, 15 miles away, Wayne County deputies said.