Expecting Parents To File Suit After Explosive Gas Detected In Lot

By Dillon Thomas

FIRESTONE, Colo. (CBS4) – Just weeks after being told their home was safe to live in, one family elected to move out of their residence.

Juan and Rita Esquivel moved from their home, after the property behind their lot tested for high levels of methane gas.

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In April, a home down the street from the Esquivel’s exploded, and gas was detected in the soil.

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“We don’t feel safe there,” Juan said.

The couple hired an attorney and planned out their lawsuit against Anadarko, Nobel, and the company which built their home. The family believes the two gas companies, and the builder, are at fault for selling them an unsafe home.

“It is eerie. It’s scary. We tread lightly,” Juan said.

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A diagram obtained by CBS4 showed the gas levels detected near where the gas leak occurred in April. The diagram suggested the lot behind the Esquivel home was more heavily covered with gases in comparison to the lot which exploded in April.

“That very well could have been our home,” Juan said.

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The family’s lawsuit asks for money in order to help the family relocate. The Esquivels said they were able to obtain a loan, as Juan is a veteran, which is not easily obtainable. They hope the lawsuit would help them pay off the loan in order to move to a new location.

Juan, a chemist, said his main concern was for his wife and unborn son’s safety.

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“I am not willing to expose us to those dangers and those hazards,” Juan said. “Stuff that we don’t know we are breathing in, we don’t know how it’s affecting our unborn child right now.”

The family has since moved their belongings into an apartment with their in-laws. The apartment houses five people, as well as the Esquivel’s husky “Luna,” alongside all the possessions the family could fit.

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Until the Esquivel family is able to sell their property and relocate to where they feel more safe, the property in Firestone will simply serve as a large storage unit.

“We had all these plans for our baby, our nursery,” Rita said. “Everything has been brought. Now, it is stacked away in a room.”

Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.

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