Healing on hold: Firestone home explosion site still in disarray

Town says cleanup could start next week

FIRESTONE, Colo. -- Nearly five months since a deadly home explosion in Firestone, nothing has been cleaned up at the explosion site, and neighbors say it is preventing them from healing.

"It's definitely a visual reminder," said Linnea Burson, who lives six houses down from where it happened on Twilight Avenue. "I think people would like to start seeing something happening so that we can close this chapter and move forward."

The explosion was caused by an uncapped gas line from a nearby abandoned well.

"I think it's opened our eyes to the gas industry and it's really made us aware that our homes may not be as safe as we think they are," said Burson.

Denver7 photos and video from days after it happened in April 2017 compared to now show little progress has been made to clean up the explosion site at 6312 Twilight Ave.

"The two houses -- nothing has changed. There's still a fence around them weeds and ash and debris," explained Burson.

With three young kids at home, like many neighbors, Burson said she tries to avoid the area.

"Not a fun thing to drive by. I try not to drive down there," she said.

The only change neighbors have seen since April is to the park next to the explosion site.

Burson said the HOA has cleared some of the debris and started planting new grass.

"That feels like progress," she said.

The Frederick-Firestone Fire District said it released the home back to the Martinez family in late August.

In a statement, a spokesperson confirmed: "that a contractor has been hired and is working through the permitting process."

The Fire District said it had been told that cleanup efforts could start as early as next week or in two weeks.

The Town of Firestone also released the following statement to Denver7 about the cleanup efforts:

 

The Town of Firestone has confirmed that the 6312 Twilight Ave. site has been released from the ongoing investigation to the appropriate parties. The property can now be permitted to begin the clean-up process. We understand that a contractor has been hired and will be working through the permitting process, and that the clean-up will begin soon. Our staff stands ready to expedite the permitting process and help facilitate an expeditious clean-up at this site. We appreciate the patience and understanding of the neighbors as we work through this process. 

For neighbors like Burson, who have to live with the constant reminder in their backyards, they're ready to move forward.

"As that gets cleaned up and new houses are built we'll start to heal, and people will forget about it eventually," she said.

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