A 12-year-old girl from Detroit has been severely burned and will be hospitalized for months after attempting the Fire Challenge.
Tamiyah Landers was hanging out with her friends at home when her mom went to take a nap. few minutes later she hears a loud pop and screaming. Brandi Owens describes seeing her daughter running down the hallway engulfed in flames. She said Tamiyah “looked like a fireball.”
Eventually, they were able to put out the fire and get her to the hospital, but doctors say she has burns across 50% of her body. She’s on a ventilator and will likely be in the hospital for months.
Brandi ultimately got Tamiyah’s friends to admit that the accident had happened while attempting The Fire Challenge. That’s an incredibly dangerous challenge that went viral in 2014. It involves intentionally covering yourself in rubbing alcohol or another flammable liquid and setting yourself on fire.
This should go without saying, but don’t do this. Fire is dangerous and can burn you.
Tamiyah definitely has a long road to recovery ahead of her. She has three more surgeries planned and will remain on a feeding tube for the time being. Brandi has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to pay for medical costs.
Tamiyah will still be in the hospital in a few weeks on the day when she was supposed to start 7th grade, and Brandi isn’t taking chances with her other kids. She says no more social media for them. She also says YouTube should ban “fire challenge” videos on its website.
And technically, they already are.
YouTube does have a policy against content that encourages dangerous behavior, but it does specifically have to “encourage” the behavior to be banned.
The policy reads: “A video that depicts dangerous acts may be allowed if the primary purpose is educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic, and it isn’t gratuitously graphic. For example, a news piece on the dangers of choking games would be appropriate, but posting clips out of context from the same documentary might not be.”
That’s why a video like this, that talks about the fire challenge in context and warns you repeatedly NOT TO LIGHT YOURSELF ON FIRE is okay.
But a video just showing someone taking the challenge and not getting seriously hurt would be taken down from YouTube.
Now, this is the first major Fire Challenge incident in a long time. It hasn’t been a major Google search term since the summer of 2014. That’s when 41-year-old Janie Talley was arrested for helping her 16-year-old son make a Fire Challenge video. She was charged with “contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.”
The New Jersey Division of Fire Safety was so concerned that they issued a general warning about the challenge.
That said, there’s no indication that what happened to Tamiyah is anything more than an isolated incident. So while parents should make sure their kids aren’t setting themselves on fire as a general rule, there’s no reason to think this is going to reach epidemic levels.
What do you guys think? What would compel someone to take The Fire Challenge? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.