Man To Spend a Year Behind Bars After Deadly Fire

Man To Spend a Year Behind Bars After Deadly Fire

( – A man whose gender reveal celebration caused a fire that killed a firefighter in 2020 has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. The incident happened in San Bernardino in Southern California when Refugio Jimenez Jr. and Angelina Jimenez staged a photo shoot with their new baby in El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa and included a smoke-generating pyrotechnic device in their celebrations. The device caused a fire to erupt in the dry grass, and the couple tried to put it out with water bottles but without success.

Winds caused the fire to spread through the forest area and caused the death of 39-year-old firefighter Charles Morton, who had worked with the US Forest Service for 18 years. The San Bernardino County district attorney subsequently charged Jiminez with one count of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of recklessly causing a fire.

His wife was charged with three misdemeanor counts of recklessly causing fire and was sentenced to one year’s probation and 400 hours of community service. Her husband will spend one year behind bars, followed by two years of probation and 200 hours of community service. They were also ordered to pay $1,789,972.

In a press release, District Attorney Jason Anderson said, “Resolving the case was never going to be a win” for the victims who lost “so much.”

Similar tragedies involving gender reveal parties have occurred over recent years, and in 2021, a father-to-be died under comparable circumstances. Christopher Pekny died thanks to a fireworks-like device he constructed for a party during which he and his wife would announce the gender of their unborn baby. The device exploded in what was described as “the freakiest of freak accidents,” killing the 28-year-old and injuring his brother.

Before that, in 2019, 56-year-old Pamela Kreimeyer died when a homemade device intended to release blue or pink powder to reveal a baby’s gender exploded, and she was hit in the head by flying debris. Marion County Sheriff’s office said the incident should remind people that mixing explosive materials can be lethal.

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