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Colorado Fire Officials Warn About Teens Taking The 'Fire Challenge'

DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado's top fire officials have issued a warning about a dangerous and disturbing trend among teens known as the "fire challenge."

It's from a disturbing trend that's spreading on the Internet where people literally light themselves on fire. This week alone there were three cases where teens were seriously hurt.

(credit: CBS)

Mostly teens douse themselves with a flammable liquid and set themselves on fire. They then post the videos online. There are thousands of them already posted and fire officials worry kids will try it in Colorado.

"They're already looking at the sites, they're seeing the videos. We can't step back and pretend it's not out there," Micki Trost with the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control said.

Without question it can and has gone horribly wrong as participants up the ante, finding more dangerous fuels and covering themselves with even more of it. In Houston 14-year-old Michael Simonete was rushed to the hospital. He sustained second-degree burns. There's been one death already reported from the trend.

CBS4's Stan Bush asked Trost if there was some concern that showing it and putting it out on TV in a news story would  have the opposite effect of deterring people from doing it.

"Only if parents don't take the step of talking to their kids," Trost said.

It's an alarm for fire officials who say with kids out of school, bored teens will try it to become part of the trend.

"Right now is when we see it. They'll have more supervision when they're back in school," Trost said.

Fire officials warn that not only is it a risk to the people involved, but because an accelerant is used fire could easily spread throughout the homes where it's being tried.


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