State fire marshal against internet ‘fire challenge’

Fire (KSN File Photo)
Fire (KSN File Photo)

TOPEKA, Kansas — State Fire Marshal Doug Jorgensen is warning Kansans not to engage in the “fire challenge,” which has become infamous through social media.

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The “challenge” encourages teens to douse themselves in an accelerant and then set fire to their bodies. The process is videotaped and posted on social media sites to challenge the bravery of others and encourage participation. People participating in the challenge also nominate their friends to take part. Recently, a 15-year-old boy in Buffalo, New York died due to injuries sustained while participating in the challenge.

“The fire challenge is a deadly game and fire is nothing to play with,” said Jorgensen. “Too many times, I’ve seen first-hand the effects of fires and the lifetime scars that are left as a reminder of a dangerous incident.”

Many of the participants in the “fire challenge” are teenagers. That is why Fire Marshal Jorgensen is urging parents to talk with their children about the dangers of the stunt. Teens may be dissuaded from taking part if they were aware of the likelihood of danger to themselves, others around them and property.

“We do not want to have to respond to a fire or emergency medical call that can be prevented,” said Jorgensen. “Kids need to understand how dangerous this is, and that this is one challenge no one needs to take.”

If you know of someone who has taken part in the “fire challenge,” please contact your local law enforcement agency.

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