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Oil and gas commission approves massive fine in deadly Firestone home explosion

Joey Irwin and Mark Martinez were killed in the blast that was caused by an abandoned and severed gas line attached to an oil and gas well.

COLORADO, USA — The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) approved an $18.25 million fine against Kerr-McGee, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum, for its role in a home explosion in Firestone in 2017.

Mark Martinez and Joey Irwin died in the explosion. Martinez' wife, Erin, was injured in the blast that occurred on April 17.

The explosion happened as the men were replacing a hot water heater in the basement of the home. Investigators said a severed flow line caused natural gas to build up in the soil around the home and in the home's French drains.

> The video above aired in January and explores Colorado's new search tool that allows residents to see oil and gas flow lines underneath neighborhoods.

The fine is the largest-ever handed down by the COGCC. 

Occidental Petroleum acquired Anadarko Petroleum in 2019. The well where the leak was traced back to belonged to Anadarko at the time of the explosion, according to federal investigators.

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