"Fire challenge" spreads to Rochester

Created: 08/02/2014 6:46 PM WHEC.com

A dangerous trend has made its way to Rochester.

Videos of the “fire challenge” have been popping up all over social media sites. The challenge involves teens covering themselves with flammable liquid and lighting themselves on fire. The dare is to put out the fire before you get burned.

The Rochester Fire Department is investigating at least one case of a teen having serious injuries after doing the challenge.

Experts say it’s a dangerous trend and is often the result of peer pressure.

Elaine Spaull at The Center for Youth says cases like this are a cry for help. She says the best way for parents to prevent it from happening is to know the warning signs and ask questions.

“It’s a formula for disaster. Young, impressionable kids whose self-esteem is not what it should be. They’re not so sure of themselves, and they want to make friends. Parents, we’ve got to always listen to our kids and watch what’s going on,” Spaull said.

Spaull says parents can play a key role in preventing their kids from doing these dangerous acts by monitoring their Facebook and Twitter accounts, asking questions or knowing what their children are doing when they leave the house.

Officials say the teens doing this can end up with second or third degree burns and scarring, but it can also be deadly. Nationwide, there’s been at least one death in Philadelphia after a teen did the fire challenge.

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