February 12, 2024
By KAREN VELIE
A California couple’s gender-reveal party ignited a fatal California wildfire that led to the death of one firefighter in 2020. The couple pleaded guilty on Friday to multiple charges related to the El Dorado Fire.
On Sept. 5, 2020, Refugio Jimenez and his wife Angela Jimenez were having a gender reveal event at a park in Yucaipa when a firework used in a photo shoot ignited a patch of dry grass. The couple attempted to put out the flames and called 911. However, heavy winds spread the flames.
While battling the 7,050 acres blaze, 39-year-old Charlie Morton was killed.
After agreeing to a plea deal, Refugio Jimenez pleaded guilty to one charge of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of recklessly causing a fire in an inhabited structure. He is slated to serve a year in jail.
Angela Jimenez pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts. She is slated to spend one-year on probation ans is required to complete 400 hours of community service.
In addition, the judge ordered the couple to pay $1,789,972 in restitution.