Family of men killed in Firestone explosion thank firefighters, community

A tragedy beyond words. Those were the words used by the families of the men killed in last month's home explosion in Firestone.

FIRESTONE - “The impact this tragedy will leave on these wonderful families now and forever is beyond what words can explain.”

Those were the words Mark Martinez’s brother, Jeff, wrote in a statement to 9NEWS on Wednesday.

Mark, and brother-in-law Joey Irwin, died on April 17th when Mark’s home exploded from an improperly sealed oil and gas well that had leaked methane, propane and other materials into his home.

RELATED: Uncapped, abandoned gas line caused Firestone home explosion

Mark Martinez’s wife, Erin Martinez, was critically injured from the blast.

Wednesday was the first day members from both sides of the family made their thoughts public.

In a statement emailed to 9NEWS Erin’s brother Bo Hurtado wrote, “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.”

9NEWS reporter Dan Grossman spoke on the phone with Bo who praised the Frederick-Firestone Fire Department. He also expressed gratitude to the hundreds of families that have reached out to him in support.

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.  

Jeff Martinez also released his own statement to 9NEWS which said, in part, “The process for healing now is for everyone to focus on Erin, the kids, both families and making sure Erin makes a full recovery. The importance of having Erin and the kids in our lives is number one.”

On behalf of our family and as stated by the Irwin family, we wanted to reach out to all the departments that assisted in the recent tragedy that our families endured. We want to express our gratitude for the incredible professionalism, hard work, honesty and dedication each and every member of the Frederick/Firestone Fire Protection District, along with surrounding departments and CBI investigator Jerry Means showed during this terrible tragedy.

The impact this tragedy will leave on these wonderful families now and forever is beyond what words can explain. All along we knew that the outcome of this investigation would not be anything Mark and Joey had done. Mark spent many years working in the construction field with our family, he was very knowledgeable and experienced. Joey has worked for me personally and was currently in the process of completing a large job.

As with Mark, Joey was raised around the construction field and knew plumbing like the back of his hand. One recommendation that every homeowner should take away from this, is to purchase a combustible gas detector and the importance it has in protecting other families from such tragedy.

The process for healing now is for everyone to focus on Erin, the kids, both families and making sure Erin makes a full recovery. The importance of having Erin and the kids in our lives is number one.

Lastly we want to thank all of our family members, friends, and community for all the support, prayers and love you have shown us. The outpouring of love has been indescribable. Please take time everyday to say I Love You, tomorrow is not promised to anyone.”
 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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