Some people might remember the wild sex reveal party that involved an alligator biting into a hollowed-out watermelon filled with blue goop. The display was a bit extra, to say the least, and critics complained the sex reveal party trend had gotten out of hand. But just when you thought alligator-gate couldn't be topped, these parents in Arizona threw a sex reveal party that ended in a huge fire. Sigh.
Dennis Dickey, a 37-year-old border patrol agent, and his unidentified wife, threw an explosive (literally) sex reveal party in April 2017, according to ELLE. Similarly to many parents out there who are also fond of these parties, the two hoped to surprise their guests by shooting into a target filled with either pink or blue powder. Joseph and Kendra Duggar, for instance, replicated this exact idea when they announced their baby's sex in February. But the difference between the two parties? Joseph set up the target in an open field, while Dickey decided to shoot his target in a grassy area near the Coronado National Forest, according to The Arizona Republic.
Making matters even worse? Dickey filled the target with an explosive called Tannerite, an "explosive substance designed to detonate when shot by a high-velocity firearm," according to the Daily Beast.
But instead of revealing blue or pink powder, Dickey reportedly set a massive wildfire when he shot the target. The fire was so bad, in fact, that it even got its own name — the Sawmill Fire, according to the The Washington Post.
The fire burned through 47,000 acres in a week, and it took 800 firefighters to put it out, according to the BBC. The state estimates the incident cost $8.2 million in damages.
As for Dickey? The dad feels terrible about what happened.
“It was a complete accident,” Dickey told U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie A. Bowman at a court hearing regarding the incident, according to HuffPost. “I feel absolutely horrible about it. It was probably one of the worst days of my life.”
It's unlikely Dickey will be able to forget this awful day anytime soon, especially since he pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of causing a fire without a permit, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Dickey was also ordered to pay "$100,000 in restitution when he is sentenced Oct. 9 and another $120,000 in monthly installments of $500 for the next 20 years," as the Arizona Daily Star reported.
Additionally, Dickey will be sentenced to 5 years of probation, according to Newsweek.
The only thing going for Dickey, in my opinion, is that he reported the fire to the appropriate agencies as soon as it happened. "Dickey immediately reported the fire to law enforcement, cooperated, and admitted that he started the fire," the affidavit read, according to the Arizona Daily Star.
Either way, many people aren't impressed with the dad's stunt.
"That dude who started a fire because of a gender reveal party is the exact reason why we shouldn’t have gender reveal parties," someone argued on Twitter.
"A gender reveal party caused over $8M in fire damage, that is God punishing us for such nonsense," one person wrote.
Another commenter chimed in: "Gender reveal parties are a LITERAL forest fire of destruction."
"Is it a boy or a girl? No. It is a fire. Congratulations," a person joked.
Of course, it's rare to hear about a sex reveal party ending in a massive wildfire. Most of the time, sex reveal parties involve cakes filled with either pink or blue frosting, or a boxes filled with colored balloons. These types of reveals, no matter how you might feel about them, are harmless. But when you throw explosives and guns into the mix, you have to wonder why you're throwing the party in the first place. Is it to celebrate a new life coming into the world, or is it for shock value? If your answer falls into the latter category, then perhaps you might want to consider skipping the party altogether. Sex reveal parties shouldn't put people's lives at risk, and one can only hope this unfortunate incident will make parents think twice about this trend.