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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • State fire marshal warns against self-immolation stunt

  • Social network-driven stunt has injured teens around the country.
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  • As the Ice Bucket Challenge sweeps the nation and raises millions of dollars for ALS, another challenge has been on social networks that has officials concerned.
    On Thursday, Kansas State Fire Marshal Doug Jorgensen warned state residents not to partake in the "Fire Challenge."
    A search for Fire Challenge on the Internet reveals scary images of teens lighting themselves on fire after adding an accelerant. Several teens have been burned severely and the press release from Jorgensen states a 15-year-old Buffalo, N.Y., teen died from injuries sustained while participating in the challenge.
    "It's not brave, it's just dumb," said Capt. Ken Spencer of the Dodge City Fire Department. "I can't believe anyone would think they could do this and not get burned.
    "It's just ridiculous."
    Reports online show a mother in North Carolina was arrested after helping her son take the fire challenge and was burned in the stunt. It shows severe injuries to children in Arkansas, Kentucky and Florida.
    The challenge has been around long enough that Wikipedia has a page on it.
    "A part of it is that the Internet has videos of people doing dumb things and shows on MTV like 'Jackass' which glorify it," Spencer said. "But everyone should know there is nothing good that can come from playing with fire."
    Spencer said he hadn't heard of any fire challenges locally, it's still disturbing.
    "With social media and the Internet, anything can become a trend with teens," he said. "I just hope our local teens are too smart to try this."
    One media report said that with the Ice Bucket Challenge becoming better known throughout the nation that some teens are using the Fire Challenge as a way to become famous, participating and then challenging others by name to do so as well, just like the Ice Bucket Challenge is doing to raise money for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
    "There is nothing good that can come from this at all," Spencer said. "No one should try this.
    "Again, it's not brave, it's dumb."

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