Crosby boy, 14, sets self on fire playing Fire Challenge game

Trend growing online where teens douse themselves in rubbing alcohol, light themselves on fire


CROSBY, Texas – Bored teenagers and social media add up to a painful outcome for a 14-year-old boy in Crosby. What started as a game turned into anything but child's play.

Michael Symonette, 14, is happy to be home after suffering second-degree burns. He was playing the Fire Challenge game, a disturbing national trend where young people set themselves on fire using rubbing alcohol.

Related: Fire challenge trend growing on social media

"He got in. He set himself on fire right there," said Michael's sister, Victoria, reenacting the incident.

With his siblings watching, Michael used a bottle of rubbing alcohol then set himself on fire. But they didn't run the water quickly enough. Michael ran out of the shower with his stomach on fire -- his sister had to put it out with her hands.

Michael's mother, Stephanie Palmer, wanted to show Local 2 the burns so other children could learn a lesson.

"It's not fun, it's not funny, it's not cute," said Palmer. "I don't understand why they would want to do it, and now he's having second-degree burns and he's in pain."

Michael will have to wear bandages for about a month until his burns completely heal.

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