Daughter and family of man killed in Firestone explosion attend tribute softball game

Posted at 9:53 PM, May 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-16 00:17:05-04

FIRESTONE, Colo. -- The community in Firestone gathered for a jersey dedication ceremony at a softball game Monday night, to honor a man killed during an explosion in his home last month.

Mark Martinez coached and played softball for the Carbon Valley Parks and Recreation District for many years. The stands were packed with his family and the community to show support for his daughter, who returned to surprise her teammates at their game.

It was a different kind of game, a somber one for Tiffany Trujillo, who grew up playing ball with her cousin Mark Martinez.

"Used to play softball on the field right over there, so definitely feel him here," Trujillo said.

His family, fellow coaches and his 9-year-old daughter Jaelynn stood at the pitcher's mound to honor his life. Jaelynn's mom Erin, Mark's wife, was seriously hurt in the explosion that also killed her brother.

Erin’s mom spoke to the stands.

"She's doing well. She's coping. She's a fighter and she's doing it. So she's going to come out alright."

While there's an investigation and many lawsuits to come, the tight-knit community says their focus is on home base.

"Just grateful for the community and that his daughter got to be here and see everybody come together and be here for her dad and give her support and love," Trujillo said.