The Fire Challenge, an internet dare that involves teens setting themselves on fire, has made a more dangerous comeback.
Here’s how the challenge works: Kids cover themselves in flammable liquid, light themselves on fire, and extinguish themselves quickly. Later, they post the videos of this dangerous activity on YouTube or Facebook.
But it looks like some kids have taken it to the next level and have started lighting their peers on fire.
Last week, USA Today reported that a Michigan 12-year-old boy was recovering after spending four days in the hospital due to the extreme burns he suffered. A group of kids at school had doused him in highly flammable nail polish remover and lit him on fire as part of the challenge.
He suffered burns on his neck, chest, and stomach. The Dearborn Heights Police Department in Michigan is investigating.
The challenge isn’t new; it’s been around since at least 2012. In 2012, a CBS station in San Francisco reported that a 15-year-old had died in Buffalo from injuries he sustained from the fire challenge. Various cities around the country issued warnings about the challenge that year.
Last year, a 12-year-old girl was hospitalized in Michigan after setting herself on fire. She covered herself in rubbing alcohol and ran crying to her mom while engulfed in flames. She burned half of her body, according to the Washington Post.
The same year, USA Today reported a story of a South Carolina 12-year-old boy who burned 43 percent of his body after attempting the challenge. The Spartanburg, South Carolina, Fire Marshall said the challenge becomes significantly more dangerous when the rubbing alcohol makes contact with clothes, since the fabric can ignite.
This week, Saginaw Township Police in Michigan urged parents to speak to their kids about the dangers of participating in this challenge in a message delivered through a Saginaw TV station.