FIRESTONE, Colo. (CBS4) – Residents in Firestone are questioning their safety after oil and gas company Anadarko announced it will close more than 3,000 vertical wells across Colorado.

The announcement comes after an explosion and fire 10 days ago killed two people and injured two others in a home on Twilight Avenue, less than 200 feet away from where Anadarko was operating a well.

firestone home explosion 7 Neighbors Want Answers After Surprise Development In Explosion Investigation

(credit: CBS)

The cause of the explosion is still under investigation, but the company said in a statement Wednesday the wells will remain closed until crews can conduct inspections.

“It makes me wonder how safe my city is,” said neighbor Dennis Herrera.

“It makes you second guess it, for sure,” added Bruce Hoylman.

Anadarko says the well closures come simply out of an abundance of caution, but the safety measures are doing little to ease the fears of families who watched a neighbor’s home go up in flames.

firestone home explosion 2 Neighbors Want Answers After Surprise Development In Explosion Investigation

(credit: CBS)

“We were all standing there running out of our houses, wondering what what happened,” said Herrera.

“We’re still reeling from it. It’s a tragedy,” said Hoylman. “Are we in danger of other leaking pipes, or whatever it might be?”

Before the explosion, homeowner Mark Martinez and his brother-in-law Joseph Irwin — both who were killed — were installing a water heater. Investigators haven’t said if that was a factor.

firestone house explosion 10pkg frame 205 Neighbors Want Answers After Surprise Development In Explosion Investigation

(credit: CBS)

“Going from potentially some problem with an appliance, to potentially some wells having a problem? That’s scary,” said Herrera.

Neighbors say there’s not much they can do but wait for answers. Investigators hope to have some by next week.

Comments (3)
  1. A little comfort for families in the neighborhood may be possible if it could be reported whether the water heater or home (furnace) was fueled by natural gas or electricity. If it was electrical there should be continuing concern regarding the well. If natural gas, the poor gentlemen who were killed probably made an unfortunate and terrible mistake. It is wise for Anadarko to use caution to be sure the well wasn’t a fuel source for the tragedy. My deepest condolences are extended to the family and friends affected by this tragedy.

  2. I can’t believe Anadarko would shut down 3000 wells so quickly just to be safe. They are losing more than a million dollars a day. They just paid billions of dollars to the EPA in fines. Colorado is being too casual with Oil and Gas. They are reaping tons of money and let the industry do as it will. Citizens concerns are not addressed, they are patronized by those in a position to do something. It’s all about money and power. I completely support the development of Oil and Gas but not at the expense of peoples lives and quality of life. There should be a fair and reasonable compromise on what takes place. My heart goes out to the families affected by this horrible incident.

  3. Jim Prentice says:

    Here is a map showing the locations of wells near the house that exploded in Firestone, Colorado.

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