A couple has been charged with the death of a firefighter in a 22-square-mile wildfire sparked by a gender reveal party.
Last year, a couple was charged with involuntary homicide after their gender reveal party triggered a Southern California wildfire that scorched over 22,000 acres and killed a firefighter.
Refugio At a news conference on Tuesday, San Bernardino County District Attorney Jason Anderson announced that Manuel Jimenez Jr. and Angela Renee Jimenez had pled not guilty to all charges linked to the El Dorado Fire.
One felony count of involuntary manslaughter, three felony counts of carelessly causing fire with serious bodily injury, four felony counts of deliberately causing fire to inhabited structures, and 22 misdemeanor counts of recklessly setting fire to someone else’s property are included in the charges.
When the couple and their young children held a baby gender reveal at the foot of the San Bernardino Mountains in Yucaipa on Sept. 5, the wildfire began.
To disclose the gender of their baby, the couple fired up a smoke-generating pyrotechnic device in a field in El Dorado Ranch Park, but it swiftly ignited dry grass on a hot day during last year’s extremely dry summer.
Strong winds fuelled the fire, causing it to grow over national forest territory as the couple sought to quench the flames with bottled water and promptly contacted authorities.
Over the next two weeks, the wildfire grew more deadly, killing Charles Morton, the 39-year-old firefighter veteran in charge of the Big Bear Interagency Hotshot Squad, when the flames ravaged a remote location where firefighters were attempting to control the burn.
Morton’s death, according to Anderson, could have been averted if the Jimenezes hadn’t set off a deadly device in the midst of exceptionally dry conditions that have made wildfires much more difficult to put out.
“Obviously, he wouldn’t have been out there in the first place if this hadn’t started in the first place,” Anderson added.
He said, “The homicide investigators worked with US Forestry, with their expertise, to assess cause and effect.” “Looking at that, we thought the grand jury reached the decision to charge involuntary manslaughter based on the evidence that not only the murder division gathered working with US Forestry and Cal Fire, but also looking back at the beginning of the fire.”
The El Dorado Fire harmed 13 people until it was put out on November 16. This is a condensed version of the information.