Safety officials: ‘Fire Challenge’ not a good idea

KIMT News 3 – Internet video challenges, like the “ice bucket challenge” are taking over the internet. While these have been intended to promote a good cause, this latest craze is certainly not the case.

It is called the “fire challenge” and it is drawing attention and becoming popular among teens.  What you will see are people intentionally setting themselves on fire while recording it for this so-called challenge.

As you can imagine, many of them are burning themselves, some severely.

“There’s so many things that can go wrong. Skin burns so fast. If you get close to a candle with your hand, you can feel the heat, and that’s just a tiny bit of flame,” said Captain Lee DeVries with the Albert Lea Fire Department.

He said you can be charged for arson by doing this. It fits the statute that says you are choosing to light something on fire that should not be, while endangering people’s lives and property.

“There’s so many ignitable things in a residence, or any type of structure. You get close to any type of furniture, curtains, carpeting, anything like that and it can be almost instantaneous and out of control,” DeVries said.

He said there have been a few cases of the challenge taking place locally, but none that have needed the fire department’s assistance, yet.

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