Neighbors file 1st lawsuit after Colorado house explosion

An abandoned gas line connected to a nearby well is suspected of causing the April explosion in Firestone. It killed two men and left a woman critically hurt, but it's neighbors who are suing and they're targeting more than oil and gas companies.

KUSA - Neighbors have filed the first lawsuit stemming from a fatal house explosion in northern Colorado that's blamed on unrefined natural gas flowing from a severed pipeline.

The explosion killed Mark Martinez, his brother-in-law Joey Irwin and seriously hurt Martinez' wife Erin.

The lawsuit comes from their neighbors living a few doors down who say they don’t feel safe where they live. 

Investigators say the home exploded after a cut line leaked odorless gas into the soil and eventually into the home.

The lawsuit calls out Anadarko that owns the lines and a nearby well. It also names Noble Energy that operates wells in the area, saying it was their responsibility to make sure any abandoned lines are actually safe.

The lawsuit also says there are unmapped gas lines beneath the neighborhood.

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It then moves onto the developer and home builder, saying it was their responsibility to make sure this relatively new neighborhood was built in a safe area.

Those named in the lawsuit aren’t commenting, but Anadarko did confirm it’s fronting the money to buy censors for the nearly 400 homes in the subdivision to detect methane. It’s one of the gases that leaked into the Martinez’ home.

Families 9NEWS spoke to in Oak Meadows say they will use it since the gas that leaked had no odor. 

State officials previously said they believe there is no danger to surrounding homes.

“It’s a little nerve-racking. Every noise you hear you don’t know what it is. It’s still a bit frightening,” Leah Anderson said, who lives in the subdivision.

Families told 9NEWS they are still trying to figure out if gas lines are running underneath their homes but still haven't gotten an answer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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