Kentucky teen gets burned after mimicking ‘fire challenge’ he saw online

The gallon challenge. The cinnamon challenge. That crazy salt-and-ice challenge. Some are potentially more dangerous than others, but the latest — the fire challenge — has many people worried.

A Lexington, Ky., teen is recovering from second-degree burns after pouring rubbing alcohol on his skin and setting himself ablaze, imitating “fire challenge” videos on Facebook and YouTube.

“I just poured alcohol on it, and lit it, and it just automatically went and burst,” the 15-year-old told WKYT-TV. Then he told CBS Cleveland, “Literally after it got put out it was already blistering, it’s just hard.”

The teenager, who has not been named, told WKYT-TV late last week he was attempting the “fire challenge,” in which a person pours alcohol on his skin and lights it on fire. Some post videos of their own attempts on social media. The stunt even has its own hashtag: #firechallenge.

Some of the videos also show people spraying areas of their bodies with aerosol cans before striking the match to singe off portions of body hair.

When asked why he tried it, he told WKYT-TV, “I don’t know; I wasn’t thinking really.” He said that the one thing the videos never showed was the end.

“What they don’t show at the end of the videos is the consequences of doing this, getting second and third degree burns,” Lexington Fire Department Captain Chris Harrod told WKYT-TV.

Lexington Police told reporters they have asked child services to also investigate the incident.

Lindsey Bever is a national news reporter for The Washington Post. She writes for the Morning Mix news blog. Tweet her: @lindseybever
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Lindsey Bever · July 29