Gender Reveal Party Ignites Fire, Destroys More Than 45,000 Acres

Playing Gender Reveal Goes Wrong When Explosives Cause Arizona Forest Fire

Boy or girl? Either way, this Arizona couple sure wasn’t expecting a fire.

Newly released video from the U.S. Forest Service shows the moment a gender reveal party went horribly wrong when what should have revealed whether Border Patrol Agent Dennis Dickey and his wife, Rita, were having a boy or a girl actually ended in a fiery explosion.

It happened in April 2017, when the Tuscon couple invited friends and family to gather to watch them shoot a rifle at explosive powder in a target. 

Moments after the target exploded in a magnificent blue cloud – revealing Rita was pregnant with a boy – the blaze spread, eventually reaching the Coronado National Forest and destroying over 45,000 acres of land, racking up more than $8 million in damages.

Dickey was off duty at the time and reported the fire right away. He told a judge that it was a complete accident, calling it the worst day of his life.

He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor violation in September and was sentenced to five years of probation in addition to paying $220,000 in restitution.

In May, a San Francisco grandfather-to-be fell victim to another gender reveal fail, when the baseball containing blue powder hit his head, revealing he would be having a grandson.

But Scott McCauley took it in stride.

"He was just so excited even though his forehead was bleeding a little," father-to-be Max McCauley joked in an interview with


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