FIRESTONE, Colo. (CBS4)– A community gathered to remember two men killed when a home exploded in Firestone on Monday afternoon, along with a beloved teacher who was badly burned.
On Monday night the two story home on Twilight Avenue collapsed and went up in flames. Mountain Range High School science teacher Erin Martinez and her husband Mark were inside along with two others, Mark’s brother-in-law and a child.
Mark and his brother-in-law were killed. At a vigil on Tuesday night, friends and family gathered to remember the victims.
“Family guy… awesome, awesome guy. He would give the shirt off his back to someone, I mean one of the nicest guys I’ve ever known,” said Mark’s friend Robert Espindola.
Erin was badly burned and a construction crew working nearby used their forklift to pull the rubble off Erin so she could be rescued. Erin remained in critical condition on Wednesday morning. The child is expected to recover.
Investigators continue to work to determine exactly what caused the blast. The family was installing a hot water heater at the time of the explosion.
“She was completely pinned with the top half of her body hanging upside down. Her legs were pinned under some heavy debris,” said Ben Chapman, who helped pull Erin out from under the rubble.
Crews recovered the bodies of the two men from the basement of the home on Tuesday.
“I’m in shock right now but I know it’s eventually going to hit later. Mark and Erin were high school sweethearts. Those guys, they grew up together, I mean graduated high school. Married two kids. Shows how much love that man had,” said Espindola.
The Martinez family has set up a GoFundMe page.