Colorado fire officials issue warning about ‘fire challenge’

DENVER — We first told you about a dangerous new game called the Fire Challenge on Thursday. On Friday, Colorado fire officials released a warning, pleading with parents to talk to their kids about how serious this challenge is.

So far, there haven’t been any reported incidents in Colorado. This is a preemptive warning for your family.

You almost have to see it to believe it. A teen pours rubbing alcohol all over his chest, and then sets himself on fire. He struggles to put the flames out, screaming in pain.

Posts online like that are going viral and the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control is concerned.

“It’s just taken to a different level with the addition of social media,” said spokeswoman Micki Trost.

A teen in Kentucky was lucky to survive, but he’ll spend months in bandages. He described the pain from the burns as “Unbearable.”

“Basically, I just recommend y’all not doing it,” he said.

But as Colorado teen, Mike Rodriguez points out, sometimes it’s not as easy as just saying don’t do it. “Even though you say not to do it, some kids still end up doing it,” Rodriguez said.

That’s why fire officials are hoping teens can police themselves if they know the true dangers. “Teenagers have the most impact on each other and we can use that for good,” said Trost.

Of course parents are also being asked to step in. Trost said, “Sit down, look at the videos that you’re teenagers are watching and then talk to them about what’s really going on.”

Also, discuss the reality of a severe burn.

Dr. Gordon Lindberg with University Hospital said, “If it’s a bad burn, you’re talking months in the hospital with 10-20 surgeries just to get your skin healed, let alone — getting back to the full level of function, beforehand.”

If you’re not getting through to your teen, most local fire departments and Children’s Hospital have fire education programs.

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