Firefighter Dies In Blaze Sparked By Gender Reveal Party
The El Dorado Fire in San Bernadino, California, was ignited on 5 September by a 'smoke generating pyrotechnic device' used in a gender reveal party.
Since then, the wildfire has burned through more than 21,000 acres, and on Thursday, a firefighter died tackling the blaze, San Bernardino National Forest Service confirmed.
In a series of tweets, the service wrote: "USDA Forest Service officials on the San Bernardino National Forest have confirmed the death of a firefighter on the #ElDoradoFire.
"The incident took place on Thursday, September 17, 2020. The name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
"Our deepest sympathies are with the family, friends and fellow firefighters during this time.
The cause is under investigation. More details will be made available as they are confirmed."
As of this morning (Friday 18 September), the fire is estimated to be 66 percent contained.
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More than 1,300 firefighters have been trying to get the fires under control, and 12 of them have been injured in the process. Four homes have also been destroyed.
Speaking before the firefighter's death, Captain Bennet Milloy of Cal Fire said criminal charges against the couple who held the party were being considered, but would not be filed until the fire is extinguished.
He added that they could be held liable to cover the cost of fighting the fire.
According to The New York Times, he said: "I can't speak on their behalf, but personally, I can only imagine how terrible they have to feel for a lot of reasons."
The smoke-generating pyrotechnic was set off in a field at El Dorado Ranch Park at the foot of the San Bernardino Mountains.
It quickly ignited dry grass and the couple frantically attempted to extinguish the flames with bottled water, to no avail.
Authorities have not revealed the identity of the couple. Investigations into the cause of the firefighter's death are ongoing.
Featured Image Credit: PA
Topics: US News