Thursday, July 31st, 2014
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Playing with fire is a dangerous game, and it's spreading across the country. It's called the fire challenge. Teens are pouring chemicals on their bodies, and lighting themselves on fire.
"It's crazy. I mean I don't understand why kids would do something like that," said Amethyst Beecher.
It's a dangerous game, and the challenge is spreading across the country. Teens dousing themselves in accelerates, mainly rubbing alcohol, then setting themselves on fire.
For Beecher, playing with fire hits close to home
"I have a sister who actually when she was playing with matches set herself on fire and had to have skin graphs all over her body and it's not pretty. She still, 21 years later, still has scars," said Beecher.
Beecher says for her sister, it's something she lives with everyday,
"Massive scars that will never go away because she thought it was fun to play with fire, and it's not kids should not play with fire at all," said Beecher.
The trend, spreading fast on social media, and the Augusta Fire Department says they're getting ahead of the game.
"Have conversations with your teens about this, and discourage them that this is not appropriate behavior and it can cause severe injury to them," said Richmond County fire chief Christopher James.
Shannon Spires, a mom to a teenage boy, watches a fire challenge video for the first time.
"Scary, very scary," said Spires.
Anyone who plays can suffer third degree burns, which means your skin is burned so badly your it can't replace itself, and could require skin graphs or surgery or like one 15-year-old in Buffalo New York. It can take your life.
A third of the patients that come through these doors are children, and those with Doctors Hospital say they see one to two kids every day in a preventable fire accident.
"It can disfigure them for life, and they can walk around with scars forever, and that's always a constant reminder of what happened," Dr. Mullins said.
"A life is way more valuable than a fad," said Beecher.
Doctors tell us chemicals like alcohol can make the burn worse. They say the best thing parents can do is talk to your teens, and keep an eye out if you see those chemicals around or missing in your home.