To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders
Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications
| Last updated
An American couple is facing up to 20 years behind bars after their gender reveal party turned deadly.
Refugio Manuel Jimenez Jr. and Angela Renee Jimenez held a soireé to unveil whether they were having a boy or a girl in San Bernadino, California last year.
They used a 'smoke generating pyrotechnic device' at the party and that machine ended up causing a massive wildfire.
The couple tried to use water bottles to stem the raging fire and eventually called 911.
The blaze tore through 22,000 acres of land and took more than 1,300 firefighters and 23 days to get it under control.
Sadly, a firefighter died while battling the inferno, 12 others were injured, and five homes and more than a dozen other structures were also destroyed.
Refugio and Angela have now been charged with one felony count of involuntary manslaughter, three felony counts of recklessly causing a fire with great bodily injury, four felony counts of recklessly causing a fire to inhabited structures, and 22 misdemeanors of recklessly causing fire to property.
They have both pleaded not guilty.
San Bernardino Count District Attorney Jason Anderson said while announcing the charges: "The conditions that were created that led to the firefighter death were a direct result of the fire.
"Given the scope and impact of the El Dorado fire on the land and lives of so many, particularly Charles Morton and his family, it was imperative that every investigation be completed within both federal and state agencies to provide a full and fair presentation to the members of our community that made up the grand jury."
The Jimenez's have since been released on their own recognisance ahead of their next court appearance in September.
Zachary Behrens, a spokesman for the United States Forest Service SFS, has welcomed the charges against the couple.
"We would like to thank the District Attorney's Office and Sheriff's Department for their hard work and diligence in bringing forth charges in this case. Our thoughts are with Charlie's family, friends and colleagues today and always," the USFS said in a written statement.
The El Dorado fire was just one of thousands that erupted across California during its record-breaking wildfire season.
More than 4 per cent of the state was blackened by blazes and nearly 10,500 buildings were destroyed, along with 33 deaths.
Featured Image Credit: PA
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read