Culture

12-Year-Old Girl Severely Burned in Dangerous New YouTube 'Fire Challenge'

(Screenshot, Fox 2 Detroit)

A 12-year-old girl is recovering in the hospital after being severely burned. Timiyah Landers of Detroit was inspired by the “fire challenge,” which has become popular on social media, including YouTube. She now has burns over 49 percent of her body and will need extensive surgeries to heal.

The challenge, which calls for kids to pour rubbing alcohol on themselves, light it, and then rush to a bathtub or other water source to extinguish the flames, is clearly very dangerous. But that hasn’t stopped the countless adolescents who have taken on the challenge, including Landers. In theory, rubbing alcohol should burn off quickly because the liquid is so thin. But when the highly flammable substance is poured on clothing or on one’s chest, extreme damage can occur.

According to Fox 2 Detroit, “Landers and her two girlfriends were hanging out at her Detroit home on Friday after mother Brandi made them pancakes and went to take a nap. Minutes later, Brandi said she heard a small explosion.” Brandi’s fiancé sprayed the girl down with water after she ran down the hallway in flames.

Videos, such as the one that inspired Landers, are banned on YouTube. But despite the site’s rules, USA Today was still able to find a handful of videos promoting the dangerous game.

Landers is on a ventilator and will remain hospitalized for months.