Coroner identifies men killed in Firestone house explosion, fire

WELD COUNTY, Colo. — The two men who were killed in a house explosion and fire in Firestone on Monday have been identified.

The bodies of Mark Joseph Martinez, 42 of Firestone, and Joseph William Irwin III, 42 of Frederick, were found in the rubble of the home on Tuesday by search crews.

“Autopsies have been completed, with the results expected in four to six weeks,” the Weld County Coroner’s Office said.

The explosion and fire happened about 4:45 p.m. Monday in the 6300 block of Twilight Avenue near Colorado and Firestone boulevards.

An unidentified boy was taken to a hospital and an adult woman, Erin Martinez, was airlifted by Flight for Life in critical condition. The boy is OK.

It’s believed Martinez and Irwin, who were brothers-in-law, were working on a hot water heater in the home’s basement when the explosion happened, but that has not been fully determined.

Erin Martinez is a science teacher at Mountain Range High School, Adams 12 Five Star Schools said. The Martinezes have two children, a boy and a girl.

Erin Martinez and the boy were inside the home when the explosion. A neighbor and construction crew working nearby rushed to the scene to get them out. They found Erin Martinez pinned under the collapsed roof.

“She was in there kind of deeper than the forklift could reach so we were all in there just kind of pulling boards and drywall chunks, and just trying to free her manually,” said Ben Chapman, who lives across the street from the Martinezes.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the Martinez and Irwin families.

The investigation by Frederick Firestone Fire Protection District, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Firestone Police Department into the cause of the explosion is ongoing.