Oil and gas company’s initial tests of wells find no leaks

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FIRESTONE, Colo. -- One of two oil companies that shut down wells after a house explosion and fire in Firestone has not found any leaks among the wells tested so far.

Great Western Oil and Gas company shut down 61 wells "out of an abundance of caution" after a home exploded in Firestone, killing Mark Martinez and Joey Irwin, and critically injuring Erin Martinez.

Investigators have not released the cause of the explosion. It's believed the two men were working on the home's hot water heater when the explosion occurred.

In the wake of the explosion, Anadarko shut down 3,000 wells out of caution. One of the wells Anadarko shut down was less than 200 feet from the Martinez family's home.

A few days later, Great Western Oil and Gas announced it also would temporarily shut down wells.

Great Western has tested more than 30 wells and has not found any issues. The company's CEO said all tests would be completed by the end of the week.

"I think it's very proactive for the company to do that. It makes me feel a little better that they are checking it out to make sure it's safe and there aren't any issues," said Mike Ermi, who lives close to a Great Western well.

He said living close to a well doesn't worry him and he appreciates oil companies' efforts.

"If [the home explosion had] something to do with the oil (and) gas well, then I am really glad they are checking it out to take the necessary precautions to correct the problem so it doesn't happen again," Ermi said.

Jana Shaw lives across the street from a Great Western well and a natural gas line runs underground next to her property. She worries about her property's proximity to the well.

"It is a worry in the back of my mind. If something happened, we wouldn't know it because we'd be blown up before we could worry about it," Shaw said.

Shaw said images of the house explosion scared her and she thought immediately of her own home.

"It's just still there in the back of your mind and it will probably never happen in a million years, but it would be nice if that drilling site was gone so we don't have to worry about it," Shaw said.

"I don't think people understand that these things are right in the middle of residential areas in a lot of places."

The Frederick-Firestone Fire Protection District has not released the results of the investigation. It's anticipated the report will be released by the beginning of next week.