Manslaughter Charges in El Dorado Fire, Sparked by a Gender Reveal

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U.S.|A mates faces manslaughter charges for a California wildfire that started during a sex reveal.

A chopper  successful  Angelus Oaks, Calif., dropped h2o  connected  the El Dorado Fire successful  September.
Credit...Eric Thayer for The New York Times

Jesus Jiménez

  • July 20, 2021, 10:39 p.m. ET

A Southern California mates are facing manslaughter charges successful transportation with a deadly wildfire past September that prosecutors accidental was sparked by a fume weaponry during a sex reveal.

The El Dorado Fire, which began astatine a parkland successful Yucaipa, Calif., killed a firefighter and injured 2 different firefighters portion burning much than 22,000 acres crossed San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.

A expansive assemblage indicted the couple, Refugio Manuel Jimenez Jr. and Angela Renee Jimenez, connected 1 number each of involuntary manslaughter, San Bernardino County’s territory attorney, Jason Anderson, said astatine a quality league connected Tuesday. They besides look 3 felony counts of recklessly causing a occurrence with large bodily injury, 4 felony counts of recklessly causing a occurrence to inhabited structures and 22 misdemeanor counts.

About fractional of wildfires successful the Western United States are caused by radical — from downed powerfulness lines, discarded cigarettes, untended campfires — portion the different fractional are started by lightning.

“Obviously, helium wouldn’t person been retired determination if this hadn’t started successful the archetypal place,” Mr. Anderson said of Charles Morton, 39, the firefighter who was killed. “He’s warring a occurrence that was started due to the fact that of a fume bomb. That’s the lone crushed he’s there.”

Both Mr. and Ms. Jimenez, who held the sex reveal, pleaded not blameworthy and were released without having to station bail. Lawyers representing them could not beryllium instantly reached for comment.

Mr. Anderson said that if they were convicted, they could look respective years successful jail.

Mr. Morton began moving astatine the San Bernardino National Forest successful 2007, according to a connection from the U.S. Forest Service, and was survived by his wife, daughter, parents and 2 brothers. Vicki Christiansen, the agency’s chief, called Mr. Morton “a well-respected firefighter and person who was ever determination for his squad and his unit astatine the toughest times.”

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