Dangerous ‘fire challenge’ game spreads online

Fire departments encourages parents to talk to their children


FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — Fire Departments around the country are warning parents about a new online trend.

Young people spread rubbing alcohol all over their bodies and light themselves on fire, and then post a video online using the hashtag #firechallenge. A 15-year-old boy in Lexington, Kentucky suffered second-degree burns after taking part in the challenge. He warned others not to try the dangerous stunt.

“You can get caught on fire and die. Your house can get caught on fire. Wherever you’re at could get caught on fire,” said the boy.

So far, the Indianapolis Fire Department and Fishers Fire Department say no one has been seriously injured playing “the game” in Central Indiana. Still, Captain John Mehling says he believes teens in Indiana are likely taking part.

“My fear is that it’s happening and kids aren’t getting hurt enough to where they’re calling the ambulance. I want to get the word out there that this is going on. Parents please be aware,” said Mehling.

Mehling spotted a fire challenge video in his own Facebook timeline. That prompted him to get the word out on the Fishers Fire Department’s social media accounts.

“I was shocked. I could not believe that kids were doing such a stupid stunt. It’s crazy. I don’t think these are stupid kids. I think they’re kids who don’t have the experience to know that when they do something like this there are consequences to it,” said Mehling.

Many people in the videos are setting themselves on fire in the shower so they will be near water to douse the flames, but that’s not always enough.

“Just because you put water on it doesn’t mean it’s immediately going to go out. If the heat is still there it can start up again,” said Mehling.

Mehling encourages parents to talk to their children and explain the serious risks before it’s too late.

“They could burn their throat, their lungs, we’re talking life-threatening or severely injuring them that it’s going to be a lifelong issue for them,” said Mehling.

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