WARNING: This video is graphic. Viewer discretion advised.
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — A new social media challenge that carries deadly consequences is at the center of an accident investigation in California.
It’s known as “the fire challenge” and it’s as horrific as it sounds. According to KEYT, it involves lighting a person on fire then drenching them in water, all while recording video to share.
Investigators say it may be the reason a 14-year-old burned over the weekend is now fighting for his life. He and his two friends were playing with fire when the flames got out of control and engulfed the boy while his two friends tried to put it out.
He was rushed to Cottage Hospital where he suffered second degree burns to his stomach, hands, back, and face.
Cottage Hospital is hoping kids understand when playing with fire, they’re putting their life at risk.
“The skin is not meant… It’s not created to suffer through a burn,” said Denise McDonald, Cottage Hospital. “We don’t have a built in mechanism in our skin for burns. It is extremely damaging. Burns are disfiguring, and most burn victims end up with very long term disabilities.”
“Engaging in fire, recklessly engaging in fire can lead to criminal prosecution whether you’re a teenager or an adult,” said Santa Barbara District Attorney Joyce Dudley.