FIRESTONE, Colo. (CBS4)– The families of the victims in the home explosion in Firestone say the investigation into last month’s blast reflects what they believed all along– that it was not caused by the men working in the home at the time.
The April 17 explosion in Firestone killed two people and left another badly burned. The home was 200 feet from a gas well. Investigators said the explosion was caused by “fugitive gas” from a severed and uncapped line.
Erin Martinez, a physics and chemistry teacher, survived the deadly explosion at her Firestone home but was critically injured. Her husband, Mark, and her brother, Joseph Irwin, were killed in the explosion.
The families released this statement about the investigation on Wednesday: The Martinez and Irwin families appreciate the diligent hard work by the Firestone Protection District and Police during this investigation. The investigation confirms what we believed from the beginning — that this explosion was not caused by Joey Irwin or Mark Martinez. The official investigation has found that the explosion was caused by odorless gas that entered the home from a severed underground abandoned flow line attached to a nearby well.
At this time the family remains focused on providing love and support for the Martinez children, assisting Erin as she continues to recover in the Burn Unit, and grieving the loss of Joey Irwin and Mark Martinez.
We are profoundly grateful for the outpouring of care, condolences, and support from our community and words cannot express our gratitude to everyone who has stepped forward to help our families during this difficult time.
As longtime residents of Firestone and Weld County, our families are committed to ensuring that our community is safe for everyone. As the investigation continues, we look forward to working with officials to make sure that all of the facts are known and that our community may take steps to protect against the dangers that caused this explosion.
The explosion has prompted mandatory pipeline inspections for all of Colorado.