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Friday, August 15, 2014

Getting Burned: Stupid Teens and the Online Craze "The Fire Challenge"

     It's no secret that teenage boys are capable of incredibly dangerous and stupid acts. In the past, only a handful of peers might witness a kid drawing attention to himself by pulling off a reckless stunt. Today, through social media, acts of youthful idiocy reach a larger audience.

     Recently, kids have been inspired through the online craze called "The Fire Challenge" to set themselves on fire in front of video cameras for the entertainment of others. This activity is so stupid only a psychiatrist could even begin to explain the thinking behind it.

     On July 29, 2014, in Charlotte, North Carolina, a bare-chested 16-year-old boy took the fire challenge by dousing his neck, chest and abdominal area with nail polish remover, a highly flammable liquid. With his 41-year-old mother behind the video camera, the teen set himself on fire. Obviously shocked by the intensity of the blaze, the burning boy panicked and ran. Fortunately other kids witnessing the insanity took him to the ground and smothered the flames. The boy escaped with minor burns.

     The fact the kid's mother, Janie Lachelle Talley, participated in the spectacle boggles the mind. Not only that, mother and son posted the video on Facebook. Stupidity on top of stupidity.

     Someone with the state Department of Social Services saw the fire video and notified the police. On August 6, 2014, after viewing this boy light himself up, officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department arrested the mother on the charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
   
     Over the past few weeks, several boys have taken the fire challenge by using flammable liquids to ignite themselves. A 15-year-old in Kentucky doused himself with rubbing alcohol. The fire caused second-degree burns on his chest and abdomen. In California, a 16-year-old set himself ablaze and ended up with third-degree burns that will require skin grafts.


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