5 injured when natural gas explosion destroys Castle Rock home

Fire chief: 4 children crawled out of rubble

DENVER - Five people were injured but survived a natural gas explosion that completely leveled a Castle Rock home Friday morning.

Lisa Martinez and her four adopted children were inside the home in the 6900 block of Sulfur Lane when a natural gas leak caught fire around 7:15 a.m. and created an explosion that rocked the neighborhood.

"It sounded like a plane had crashed," said neighbor Chris Bruno.

The children "rode the explosion down" and were able to crawl out of the rubble with some help from neighbors, said Castle Rock Fire Chief Art Morales.

Martinez' husband Jimmy, a Lieutenant with the Denver Police Department, rushed to the hospital after learning about the explosion.

"I got a call," Jimmy Martinez told 7NEWS. "They said your house blew up. I thought it was a joke at first, but obviously it wasn't."

Jimmy Martinez said his wife suffered bruises to her face, and the kids, all adoptees from Ethiopia, suffered cuts and bruises.

He said one of the girls ended up on the roof following the explosion.

"The fire chief told me, that Ahbie jumped up right away and said, that it was actually a lot of fun," Jimmy Martinez said. "He said it was like a roller coaster. So he's quite an amazing little character."

Morales said none of the injuries were life threatening.

The home was nearly obliterated. Images from AirTracker7 showed a pile of rubble where the two-story home once stood.

"It's just gone. The house is completely gone. I can't believe anyone walked out of there," Bruno said.

Morales said two adjacent homes suffered structural damage and had to be evacuated.

An additional 20 residents in the neighborhood were also evacuated, while crews checked for gas leaks.

Jimmy Martinez said the family lost everything in the explosion -- including some precious belongings that were given to the children by family members in Ethiopia.

"We're basically homeless right now," he said.

A fund has been set up to help the Martinez family get back on their feet.

Contributions can be made to The Martinez Family Fund in care of the Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union.

 

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