Not The Ice Bucket Challenge | Stay Away From "Fire Challenge"

TOPEKA, Kansas (WIBW) -- The Ice Bucket Challenge is all over the internet to raise awareness for ALS.

But there is also another not-so-cool challenge many have participated in some time now.

It's called the "Fire Challenge," a dangerous trend that officials are telling Topekans not to take part in.

We've all been told not to play with fire. But many people, mostly teenager, are lighting themselves on fire for fun and then posting the video online.

"It is extremely dangerous," Mende Barnett said. She is the Education Consultant for the Office of the State Fire Marshal and was alarmed when she saw videos of people literally setting themselves on fire. "One of the products they're using is hand-sanitizer or anything alcohol-based. It can spread very fast."

The Fire Marshal's office says the risks are obvious - teens across the country have been severely burned, and one New York teen even died - but young people continue to dare each other to do it.

"I think they look at it as a thrill. I don't think they realize the risks involved in it. Not only can they catch themselves on fire, but catching the area, the room they're in on fire. Fire spreads twice its size every 30 seconds," Barnett said.

Trends come and go all year long, but the Fire Marshal's office says that with parents getting involved and knowing what their kids look at online, hopefully this trend won't be around for much longer.

"Parents need to talk to teens and be involved in what they're doing."

If they don't, there could be some serious consequences.

"There was an incident where a mother videotaped her son that was being doused in an accelerant and set on fire and she was arrested. So it's very serious."

Teens can be taken into custody as well if they participate in the challenge.

Barnett said she didn't know of any fire challenges done in the Topeka area, but if anyone knows of any, to contact local law enforcement.


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