Teen sets himself on fire for ‘fire challenge,’ suffers serious burns

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KANSAS CITY, Kansas (KCTV) — Disturbing new videos are showing up on YouTube of something called the “fire challenge.”

The videos show teens setting themselves on fire and recording it. A warning: some may find the videos disturbing.

It might be the most dangerous and disturbing thing people have ever seen a child intentionally do. The videos show teens dousing themselves in alcohol and, while standing in front of a shower, light the fluid.

They call it the “fire challenge.” Doctors working in the burn unit call it stupidity.

Disturbing new videos are showing up on YouTube of something called the "fire challenge." (Images: KTLA-TV)

Disturbing new videos are showing up on YouTube of something called the “fire challenge.” (Images: KTLA-TV)

A 16-year-old teenager suffered first- and second-degree burns Friday after authorities say he tried to set himself on fire to complete the challenge, according to KTLA.

The boy, who was not identified, had poured rubbing alcohol across his chest before lighting himself on fire, according to Capt. Mike Summers, of the Orange County Fire Authority.

The teen was hospitalized with burns on his face, neck and hips, and was in “moderate” and “stable” condition Saturday, officials said.

The University of Kansas Hospital says during the summer they get about 10 patients a week from people using accelerants to start fires, causing serious burns. They say the “fire challenge” has been around for about five years and they do get patients that have done it.

“They lit their leg on fire and unfortunately it led to third-degree burns with required skin grafting,” said Dr. Dhaval Bhavsar with the University of Kansas Hospital Burn Unit.

Doctors say kids have been intentionally lighting themselves on fire for years, but now with the advent of YouTube and national stunt shows they say it’s getting more dangerous and doctors fear it might become deadly.

“It has a potential, yes,” Bhavsar said.

The Overland Park Fire Department said it’s no joke. They set up a demonstration to show just how hot the fires get on the body and how dangerous they really are.

“People don’t fully understand the consequences of what can happen by doing this ‘fire challenge.’ It’s beyond a prank on YouTube, it can cause permanent damage to yourself that can last your entire life. It can burn your house down,” said Overland park Fire Investigator Kurt Neis.

The department adds that teens can be prosecuted for setting the intentional fires.

Already teens in Kentucky and Ohio have been seriously hurt performing the “fire challenge.”


  • FaithC

    This is just stupid. We all did crazy things when we were teens, but this is ridiculous. These kids have such low self-esteem that they will do anything to fit in or get attention. These are some sorry people who need serious counseling.

  • Thanks No Child left behind

    These kids parents should have tried the “condom challenge” years ago bc the parents obviously couldn’t cut it at the “parenting challenge”

    • Kaitlynn

      Who else would you blame? Of course it’s the parent’s fault. Stuff like this didn’t happen back when parents were Godly, involved, and willing to discipline. Now we have a bunch of deadbeat druggies who don’t have the time, patience, or even desire to raise their children appropriately. It starts with the parents. These kids are just that: kids.

    • wonderman

      This kid is grinning as he shows the world his “bravado.” Death would be a merciful outcome for someone so easily persuaded to such stupid behavior.

  • yea_baby

    I say give the kid another chance ! just let him have some aviation fuel this time ! I got matches !

  • greatclits

    the sad reality is that he will live to commit more daring/crazy acts in some pitiful attempt to fit in or look cool, when in fact his next stunt might hurt or kill someone that has no desire to be a part of his stupidity, his family has failed, he is a dumba– and we all know it and have proof on video to back up our claims

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