Donations needed ahead of benefit for victims of Firestone home explosion

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FIRESTONE, Colo. – It’s been three months since a devastating home explosion took the lives of Mark Martinez and Joey Irwin.

“They’re gone but they’re not forgotten. They’ll be here with us forever,” family friend Julie Pasillas told FOX31.

She says the two were known around town as the guys everybody could count on.

“I had a friend of mine tell me a story the other day that on Super Bowl instead of watching the game [Joey] went to help somebody, a gal that he knew, that was in need of some plumbing work done,” she said. “He was always willing to stop what he was doing to help somebody else.”

Now, it’s Firestone’s turn to return the favor.

“The impact to the families and the communities has been tremendous so we just we want to do all we can,” Pasillas said.

Pasillas along with a few other members of the community decided to organize a benefit in their honor.

The Martinez-Irwin Benefit will be July 22nd in Firestone and Frederick. The morning will begin with a golf outing. Although registration is now closed for golf, they are still accepting entrants for a car show in the afternoon.

“Mark for many years came to several of our car shows so we thought that would be a good thing to involve,” Pasillas said.

The car show is open to anyone and any car. Registration is $20 and the event will run from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the American Legion Post 1985 (870 First St., Firestone).

The evening will continue with a spaghetti dinner at 4 p.m. at the American Legion in Firestone. Tickets can be purchased at the door.

The benefit will end with silent and live auctions around 8 p.m.

Organizers still need help gathering donations for silent auction items. If you have items you’d be willing to give, information is available on the event’s website.

All of the money raised Saturday will go to Mark’s wife Erin Martinez. She was seriously injured in the explosion but survived. The couple has two children, ages 9 and 11.

“If we earn five dollars or we earn 5 thousand or more anything that can go to help her and help her family,” Pasillas said.

They literally lost everything in the explosion. They don’t have clothes, photographs, or basic necessities.

“She doesn’t even own a fork,” Pasillas said. “She doesn’t have anything to remember [Mark] by and her children have nothing to remember him by but his memories.”

The benefit certainly will be a tough day for everyone in Firestone, but friends hope it will also be a step toward healing.

“We just want everybody to come together for a good event that’s for a good reason that’s going to help good people,” Pasillas said.