A California couple charged with manslaughter after the gender reveal party led to wildfire and death of a fireman
A gender reveal ceremony in California became a cause of a massive wildfire, that killed a fireman, due to the usage of fireworks. The couple who arranged the pyrotechnic show at a party was charged with manslaughter.
The fire started when one of the smoke-generating pyrotechnic devices ignite dry grass at the foot of the San Bernardino Mountains, El Dorado, California.
Accused Refugio Manuel Jimenez Jr. failed to extinguish the flames by his own means, and dry conditions and strong wind helped the fire to spread quickly.
The wildfire was raging for two months before being taken under control in September 2020. Chief of the elite firefighting brigade Big Bear Interagency Hotshot, 39-year-old Charles “Charlie” Morton was killed in the fire.
In connection to the Morton’s death, couple, Refugio Manuel Jimenez Jr. and Angela Renee Jimenez were charged with manslaughter and additionally with three felony counts of recklessly causing a fire with great bodily injury, four felony counts of recklessly causing a fire to inhabited structures and 22 misdemeanor counts of recklessly causing fire to property.
The couple plead not guilty to the charges.
The blaze reportedly destroyed five homes, and 15 other buildings, about 39 square miles were affected.
The Jimenez’s were released on their own recognizance, despite prosecutors’ request that they each be held on $50,000 bail, and are due back in court at the end of summer, according to The Desert Sun.