A Charlotte, North Carolina woman is facing charges after police say she helped her son set himself on fire in a stunt known as the “fire challenge.”
The viral challenge shows individuals, mostly who are young, pouring alcohol or some other flammable liquid on their body while they stand in the tub. They then light their bodies on fire as someone videotapes them.
The video taken in late July was posted on Facebook and made its way around the Internet. The 16-year-old boy is seen in the shower with shorts on, dousing himself in what appears to be nail polish remover. He lights his chest on fire, but panics and runs from the bathroom. Others had to help him put out the blaze.
The teen suffered minor burns to his chest and neck, according to a news release from police. Someone who knew the mom and teen called social workers, who called police. Janie Talley, 41, was arrested last week on a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. A phone listing for Talley could not be found, and police records didn’t indicate whether she had a lawyer.
In the past month, the “fire challenge” has increased in popularity on the Internet. The goal is for participants to extinguish the flames on their bodies before they burn the skin.
Similar challenges such as the “snow challenge,” where people recorded themselves running in frigid temperatures this winter and jumping in the snow have become popular on the internet.
The extent of the trend isn’t known, but several cases have been reported across the country of teens suffering serious burns.
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