Fire official cautions residents about 'Fire Challenge' fad

by BOB GAETJENS | GATEWAY NEWS EDITOR Published:

Streetsboro -- Fortunately no one in this Portage County city has taken up the "Fire Challenge," and Fire Lt. Kevin Grimm hopes that remains the case.

The Fire Challenge is a YouTube and Internet phenomenon in which someone pours isopropyl alcohol or some other type of accelerant over themselves, usually in a shower stall without the water running, and proceeds to light himself or herself on fire, according to Grimm.

And the whole thing is caught on video.

The point of being in the shower is to turn the water on once the fire ignites, but those involved rarely have the presence of mind to turn on the shower, Grimm said.

"Most of the time, as soon as the fire starts, people start panicking," he said. "It's ridiculous. There's no need to set yourself on fire."

Grimm said he wants to spread the word in case teens or others are considering whether to take up the Fire Challenge. His hope is that those with more common sense will be able to talk them out of the stunt.

Grimm said the sole appeal or purpose of the videos appears to be providing amusement to video viewers.

But many have been hospitalized as a result of burns, and Grimm said he's seen at least one report of a teen dying from the burns he experienced during the Fire Challenge.

"We shouldn't have to be telling people not to set themselves on fire," he said.

Email: bgaetjens@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4188

FB: The Gateway News/Bob Gaetjens

Twitter: @thegatewaynews

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