FIRESTONE, Colo. (CBS4) – Residents of the Oak Meadows neighborhood in Firestone are putting in alarms that detect explosive gases.
The alarms are designed to detect gas leaks like the one that leveled a home there on April 17. A cut flow line from an old oil and gas well is behind the explosion that killed two people.
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, the oil facility operator, purchased close to 800 gas and carbon monoxide detectors for every home in the community.
Three-year-old Addy and her mom Ashely Mauch were among hundreds of Oak Meadows homeowners picking up sensors Saturday from the HOA.
“Rather be safe than sorry,” Mauch said.
Many Firestone residents were rightfully still shaken more than a month after the deadly blast that shook the ground for blocks in every direction.
“I’m hoping that people’s minds start getting put at ease a little bit,” said Jesse Bezdek, President of the Oak Meadows Owners Association. “It’s going to be a long road.”
Bezdek said Anadarko bought the detectors at the board’s request. There are two for every house; one for basements where dense gases like propane can accumulate, and another for upper levels where lighter gases like methane may rise.
“And the reason we did this, is we thought these wells would be turned back on in the future,” Bezdek explained. “So at least, (if) these wells are turned on in two years, you at least have sensors that if you had this issue, you’ve got a fix for it.”
In a meeting with homeowners Wednesday, Anadarko announced that it will shut down the community’s remaining wells permanently.
Residents like Mauch felt grateful for that decision.
“There (are) a lot of kids here that are playing. So they decided to do that out of the kindness of their hearts … great,” Mauch said.
The HOA will hold a second pick-up window next week for any residents who were unable to get their detectors on Saturday.
The detectors paid for by Anadarko arrived over a month after the deadly explosion.
Steve Smith, who lives just across the street from the home that exploded, didn’t want to wait that long. He went out to buy a gas detector as soon as possible like some of the other neighbors on his block.
The leveled home is a daily reminder of the tragedy.
“Every day you get up, you drive by it,” Smith said. “It still smells like a burnt fireplace.”
Anadarko has told residents that it will permanently shut down every active well in the neighborhood. The decision provides only partial relief for Smith.
“I’m happy about that. But we have family members in other neighborhoods around here. So I’m not really all that selfish. I sit there saying, ‘Are they in the same danger as this house was?'” Smith asked. “I just hope everybody’s safe.”