California couple whose GENDER REVEAL sparked deadly wildfire charged with involuntary manslaughter

A couple has been charged in connection to the deadly fire that wreaked havoc in California last September.

A man and a woman whose gender reveal party ignited the El Dorado Fire that killed a firefighter in 2020 have been charged with involuntary manslaughter, authorities said.

Refugio Manuel Jimenez Jr. and Angela Renee Jimenez pleaded not guilty to charges on the wildfire, San Bernardino County District Attorney Jason Anderson told the press earlier this week.

Among the numerous charges are a felony count of involuntary manslaughter and other felony and misdemeanor counts related to the incident.

The catastrophic September 5 wildfire was started when the parents and their children held a baby gender reveal ceremony at El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa, San Bernardino Mountains.

A pyrotechnic device was used in a field and immediately set dry grass on fire. The parents panicked and tried to use bottled water to extinguish the fire before calling 911, according to authorities.

The fire was spread by powerful winds and reached a 75-mile radius on national forest land.

On September 17, the fire captured an area where emergency teams were doing their best to combat the spread. It killed Charles Morton, 39, leader of the elite Big Bear Interagency Hotshot Squad. He had worked as a firefighter for 18 years, mostly for the United States Forest Service.

The inferno injured 13 people and hundreds of others were evacuated from the lands.

The fire also destroyed 5 homes, 15 other buildings and blackened around 36 square miles of land before being contained on November 16.

The parents were released on their own recognizance pending a September 15 court date. They could face up to 20 years behind bars.

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