2 found dead, 2 injured after Firestone home explosion and fire

Posted at 5:24 PM, Apr 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-19 00:26:40-04

FIRESTONE, Colo. – Officials confirmed the remains of two people who remained missing after a home explosion and fire in Firestone Monday evening were located Tuesday afternoon. Two other people were injured and transported to the hospital.

A family member told Denver7 Tuesday morning that they believed the bodies of the two men remain in the rubble of the home that was destroyed in the explosion and subsequent fire in the 6300 block of Twilight Avenue.

Investigators dug through the rubble to locate the bodies, and made the announcement at 4 p.m.

Family members say the two men, identified by family as Mark Martinez and Joey Irwin, were installing a new hot water heater in the home's basement when the explosion occurred.

Officials said a woman who was injured in the fire was taken by helicopter to an area hospital while another person, a juvenile male, was transported via ambulance. Family told Denver7 that the woman is in intensive care with severe burns.

A spokesperson with the Adams K-12 school district told Denver7 the woman is Erin Martinez, a science teacher at Mountain Ridge High School. The school sent a letter home to parents about the incident on Tuesday.

The juvenile managed to escape the home by jumping through a window. He has since been released from the hospital.

Neighbors reported hearing an explosion before the home went up in flames. Aerial video of the fire showed heavy smoke. Neighbors also mentioned that a nearby construction crew came to the rescue of victims in the home by busting down a fence, which helped the female victim escape the home.

A construction worker who was working at a nearby site when the explosion happened says he and other crew members used a forklift to raise portions of the house up and rescue a trapped woman, presumably Erin Martinez.

No official cause has been released, but officials say the gas company that services the area has reassured them the neighborhood is secure. A construction site in the vicinity of the home is not believed to be linked to the explosion.

Crews will begin the tedious task of removing rubble from the site after specialized equipment arrived at the home Tuesday. The process may take a couple of days before they reach the basement as the site is being treated as a crime scene.

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