“Fugitive” natural gas and an error by local authorities were behind the April 17, 2017 explosion that destroyed a home in Colorado and killed two people. Those findings are from a brief recently released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which investigated the incident at the Firestone residence.
The homeowner and a plumber who was working at the house died in the explosion, and two other residents were injured. At the time of the explosion, the fatally injured resident and plumber were replacing a water heater in the basement.
The blast also damaged the adjacent house, which later was demolished. The Frederick-Firestone Fire Protection District responded to the accident, with mutual aid from three other fire departments and the Firestone Police Department.
The NTSB determined that the probable cause of the explosion and fire at the Firestone, Colorado, residence was the ignition of fugitive natural gas that had migrated from the Coors V6-14Ji well through a pipeline that was not abandoned by Patina Oil and Gas Corporation and that was most likely severed in 2015 during the construction of the house. Contributing to the accident was the approval by local authorities to allow occupied structures to be built on land adjacent to or previously part of oil and gas production fields without complete documentation from the operator, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, on the location and status of its gathering system pipelines.