Local fire chief: Teens setting themselves on fire for Internet challenge

by: Carl Willis Updated:

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FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - A local fire chief is warning parents about a new trend called the Fire Challenge. It's all over the Internet. People are dousing themselves with flammable liquid and setting themselves on fire.
 

"It's crazy, it really is," said Fulton County Fire Chief Larry Few. "I never thought I would see something like that."
 
The stunt is spreading, just like the out-of-control flames being captured on video.
 
"These are kids setting themselves on fire and other kids videotaping," said Few.
 
He said it's time for parents to get in front of the dangerous trend before it reaches metro Atlanta.
 
"This is a chance for us to be proactive," he said. "Alert the parents to what's happening so they can talk to their kids."
 
A mother in Charlotte did just the opposite. Janie Talley, 41, was arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Investigators accused her of not only failing to stop her son from doing the fire challenge, but helping to record it as well.
 
The challenge usually involves a highly flammable liquid being poured on the chest in the shower. Participants believe the water will douse the flames and help them avoid injury. However, that doesn't always work as planned. Few said water can actually spread the flammable liquid and fire.
 
The teen in Charlotte was burned on his chest and neck. Another teen in Kentucky was also badly burned.
 
"It could be life changing," said Few. "It could kill you. It can maim you. It can severely disfigure you. The process of how the flame comes up, if you breathe that super-heated air, it could kill you."
 
Few said it's time to put out the Fire Challenge for good.
 
"It's parents that can step in and help take care of this situation," he said.
 
According to the chief and news reports, people have received second and third-degree burns. Those are lifelong injuries.