BLUE EARTH, Minn. (WCCO) – A Minnesota teenager is warning other kids about the dangers of a stunt showing up online.
“One of my friends mentioned it and decided if I did it, they would do it,” Jaryd Johnson, from Blue Earth, said.
It’s called the fire challenge. Teenagers use an accelerant like nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol to light themselves on fire.
Jaryd’s friends covered him in hairspray and, copying the YouTube videos they saw online, lit him on fire.
“When they went at him with the lighter he wanted to stop, but by then it was too late,” Tonya Menges, Jaryd’s mom, said. “He just went up in flames.”
Jaryd says he screamed for help as he ran outside, on fire, to hose himself down. He suffered second- and third-degree burns from his waist up to his neck.
“When I first saw him my heart stopped, I didn’t know what to do,” Menges said.
Jaryd has made regular visits to the burn unit at HCMC as he recovers. Doctors told him he’s lucky to be alive.
“[Kids] shouldn’t do it because it’s really dangerous and can really hurt,” he said.
Tonya says she hopes other parents will talk to their kids.
“They find all these things you don’t know about,” she said. “If they see these challenges and think they’re cool, show them what can happen because it’s just not good.”