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Petroleum Company Shuts Down Thousands Of Wells After Fatal House Explosion

FIRESTONE, Colo. (CBS4) - Anadarko Petroleum Corporation has released a statement saying the company is shutting down wells after a fatal house explosion in Firestone.

On April 17 a two story home on Twilight Avenue collapsed and went up in flames. Mountain Range High School science teacher Erin Martinez and her husband Mark were inside along with two others, Mark's brother-in-law Joseph William Irwin III and a child.

Mark Martinez and Irwin were killed. Erin Martinez was badly burned.

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Mark and Erin Martinez (credit: CBS)

"Anadarko operates an older vertical well that was drilled by a previous operator in 1993 and is located approximately 200 feet from where the home was recently built," the company said in a statement. "As such, the company has been working cooperatively with fire officials and state regulatory agencies in their investigations since the time of the accident."

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Drone4 flew over the rubble of the home after the explosion (credit: CBS)

Anadarko says the cause of the explosion remains under investigation but the company, which operates more than 3,000 vertical wells, has "taken proactive measures to shut in all vertical wells across the counties in northeast Colorado where it operates."

firestone house explosion (1)
(credit: CBS)
firestone house explosion
(credit: CBS)

The wells will remain closed down until "field personnel can conduct additional inspections and testing of the associated equipment."

According to Anadarko, the wells it's shutting down produce the equivalent of 13,000 barrels of oil a day. A barrel is 42 gallons.

Statement From Anadarko Petroleum Corporation

"This terrible tragedy has left all of us with heavy hearts, and the families and their loved ones are in our thoughts and prayers," said Al Walker, Anadarko Chairman, President and CEO. "Words cannot express how saddened we are that this occurred in a community where many of our employees, their families, and friends live and work. We share the community's gratitude for the courageous response of neighbors and nearby construction crews who quickly came to the aid of the family, as well as the first responders and others who made sure surrounding homes were kept safe."

LINK: Joint Statement From Town Of Firestone And Frederick-Firestone Fire Protection District

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