A firefighter died fighting in a California wildfire, which officials said was sparked by a device used to detect the child’s gender.
The US Forest Service said in a statement that the death occurred in San Bernardino National Forest while its crews were fighting the El Dorado fire.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the fire broke out earlier this month from a smoke-generating fire device that a couple used to detect the gender of their child.
The firefighter’s name was withheld until notified to family members. The cause of death is still under investigation.
“Our deepest sympathy is to family, friends and fellow firefighters during this time,” Forest Service spokesman Zach Burns said in the statement.
No other information was disclosed about the firefighter, his agency, or the circumstances of the firefighter’s death. Burns said in a phone interview that he could not comment other than the details in the statement.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, earlier this month, said the fire started on September 5 when a couple, their young children, and someone there recorded a video revealing the baby’s gender in El Dorado Ranch Park at the foot. From the San Bernardino Mountains.
The device was blown up in a field and quickly lit dry grass. The couple frantically tried to use bottled water to put out the flames and called 911.
The authorities have not revealed the identities of the couple, who may face criminal charges and be responsible for the cost of fighting the fire.
Shortly after the fire broke out, San Bernardino County Attorney Jason Anderson issued a statement saying he was aware of the community’s concerns about how the fire had started.
“If investigation reports are submitted to our office, we will review all facts, evidence, data and reports to determine criminal charges, if any,” Anderson said.
Wildfires burned nearly 30 square miles (77.7 square kilometers) and was contained nearly 66%, according to Cal Fire. The fire destroyed 10 buildings and damaged 6 others.
More than 17,000 firefighters battle over two dozen major forest fires in California. The fires killed at least 25 people.