Fire challenge trend growing on social media

Teens douse themselves in rubbing alcohol, light themselves on fire

By Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - A Texas fire department is warning parents about a disturbing new trend -- teens dousing themselves in rubbing alcohol, lighting themselves on fire and posting it on social media. It's called the Fire Challenge.

"I think it's crazy," Kim Keeney said. "Kids shouldn't be lighting themselves on fire."

It's become so popular it even has it's own hashtag on social media.

"It's funny to watch but I don't think it's safe for kids to be trying at all," said Emmanuel Peniche.

From Kansas to Kentucky to New York, teens across the country are seriously injuring themselves or worse. The question is, why?

"The idea is that 'I am very macho,'" said Houston psychiatrist Dr. Harvey Rosenstock.

Rosenstock said teens aren't worried about the dangers, instead they are more concerned with showing off and drawing attention to themselves.

"Unfortunately, you get people to view it and with the phenomenon of scale, everybody else wants to do it. 'I can do what this guy can do' and 'I can even up the ante,'" Rosenstock said.

The Austin Fire Department is now warning its Facebook followers about the dangers and the public is being discouraged from sharing the videos.

"Obviously somebody is making it look like it's entertainment because they are getting hits off of it," Latecia Hardy said.

Facebook is reportedly deleting all #FireChallenge videos from its website.

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