Out­pour­ing of love in Fire­stone

The Denver Post - - DENVER & THE WEST - By Alexis Jaramil­lio

FIRE­STONE» Dozens of pearl white, candy red, burnt orange and glossy black cars formed uni­form rows along Grant Av­enue in Fire­stone on Satur­day. Among them, more than 100 peo­ple milled about, snap­ping pic­tures and con­gre­gat­ing around a few higher-pro­file cars.

How­ever, the meet­ing was more than just a pa­rade of panache. Car en­thu­si­asts and com­mu­nity mem­bers alike gath­ered to cel­e­brate the lives of Mark Martinez and Joey Ir­win, who were killed April 17 in a Fire­stone house ex­plo­sion.

The tragedy, ac­cord­ing to an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the Fred­er­ick-fire­stone Fire Pro­tec­tion Dis­trict, was fu­eled by odor­less gas leak­ing from a sev­ered flow­line that had not been dis­con­nected or capped from a well owned by Anadarko Petroleum Corp.

“It was a shock,” said Tina Tru­jillo, a cousin of Mark Martinez’s. “It’s im­pacted the whole town.”

De­spite the tragic cir­cum­stances that brought Satur­day’s event to­gether, the towns of Fire­stone, Fred­er­ick and Da­cono re­united in a show of sup­port and sol­i­dar­ity for Erin Martinez and her two chil­dren, who lost a hus­band, a fa­ther and an un­cle April 17.

“It re­ally has brought the com­mu­nity back to the way that it used to be,” said Joann Kidd, a close friend of the Martinez and Ir­win fam­i­lies. “There for a while, all three towns were split. When I grew up, we were all one big fam­ily, it didn’t mat­ter which town you lived in.”

Now, “There were peo­ple from all over com­ing here,” Tru­jillo said. “You know, so many car shows that wanted to be here to help sup­port this.”

An­gela Martinez, an­other cousin of Mark’s, came with a 1948 Pon­tiac Sil­ver Streak and was floored by the out­pour­ing of sup­port from the com­mu­nity and strangers alike.

“We’ve got a lot of peo­ple that came in from other ar­eas of Colorado and it’s been awe­some. You know, it’s ca­ma­raderie,” Martinez said.

“We’ve had car shows around here but never brought in the num­ber of cars that this show has brought in,” Martinez added.

While par­tic­i­pants in the show were pri­mar­ily from the sur­round­ing ar­eas, nu­mer­ous oth­ers trav­eled up to three hours to at­tend, act­ing as ex­tended fam­ily mem­bers for the day.

Harry Ed­wards, a Hud­son res­i­dent and peri­patetic (ac­cord­ing to his friend Gerry Tubaugh), came with his 1929 Ford Model A along with coats, clothes and kitchen items for do­na­tion.

“I think it’s a good cause,” Ed­wards said. “Those poor peo­ple got noth­ing.”

“There’s no such thing as out of the way for Harry,” Tubaugh added.

From the throngs of peo­ple present, it be­came clear that there was no such thing as out of the way for any­one in this close-knit com­mu­nity.

“I mean, we’re all fam­ily out here. We al­ways have been,” Kidd said.

The pro­ceeds from the car show, a spaghetti din­ner, a silent auc­tion and a golf tour­na­ment went to Erin Martinez and her chil­dren.

“It re­ally means a lot to the fam­ily, to the com­mu­nity, that we just can’t even de­scribe all the love that ev­ery­body has come out for this ben­e­fit,” Tru­jillo said.

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