'Fire Challenge' a bad idea, says lieutenant

NO LOCAL INCIDENTS REPORTED, BUT SFD WARNS AGAINST YOUTUBE FAD OF SETTING SELF ABAZE

by Bob Gaetjens | Editor Published:

Fortunately no one in Streetsboro has yet taken up the "Fire Challenge," and Streetsboro 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 all over themselves, usually in a shower stall without the water running, and proceeds to light himself 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 a shower, said Grimm.

"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 overheard 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 due to 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: 330-541-9440

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