Family shares story of man killed in Firestone house explosion

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FIRESTONE, Colo. -- For the first time, the family devastated by the Firestone house explosion is talking about that tragic day and the miraculous escape their grandson made from the burning home.

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Cindy Martinez, alongside her husband Max, talked about the last time she saw their son Mark before he was killed.

"It's like a nightmare," Max Martinez said. "You just stop and think you just saw him the other day. He was with us, beautiful and healthy. And then all of a sudden, he's not there, he's not there, he's gone. You've got to face it."

"I feel in my mind that this is the worst pain that I've ever gone through," Cindy Martinez said. "You lose your parents, but in a way you expect that. This is completely different," she said. "I don't think I'll ever ... get over it."

"And his brother-in-law was in there with him, Joey, same age. ... They grew up together. ... Good friends," Max Martinez said. "It happened and we don't know why, but they're together."

"It's not real, it's just not real yet," Cindy Martinez said.

Mark Martinez's son, Nathan, was in the house when it exploded. He was in his bedroom, but he somehow made it out OK. Max Martinez said it was another miracle.

"He was in his bedroom on the second floor, the house exploded, he was thinking quick and he jumped out the window," Max Martinez said.

"Or else somebody helped him," Cindy Martinez said.

What do the Martinezes want people to know?

"Keep your thoughts and prayers with us and, hopefully, we'll get through this, right Cindy?" Max Martinez said.

"Yes," she said. "God wanted him for some ... angel I guess."

She also said the last time she saw her son, she remembers thinking it was one of the best, longest hugs he'd ever given her.

Mark Martinez's wife Erin was severely injured in the explosion. The house that is now in ruins was Mark and Erin's dream home. They worked long and hard to be able to get it.

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The explosion and fire happened in the afternoon on April 17 in the 6300 block of Twilight Avenue.

The remains of Mark Martinez and his brother-in-law Joey Irwin were found in the rubble of the home by search crews the day after the explosion.

Earlier this month, investigators determined the explosion was caused by gas that entered the home through a cut, abandoned flow line from a well.

After the explosion, Anadarko Petroleum, which operates wells near the home, announced it was closing 3,000 vertical wells in northeastern Colorado.

Great Western Oil and Gas shut down 61 gas lines that are within approximately 250 feet of occupied buildings.

Gov. John Hickenlooper then called for a statewide review of oil and gas operations.

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