ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A teen is on life support after being set on fire in what deputies are calling a Facebook “fire challenge.”
Deputies were called to the Pine Hill community at 7 p.m. on Monday. Several teens were playing a game in which they “dared” each other to do stunts, according to officials. A 16-year-old boy doused himself with a flammable liquid and told his friend to light a match and hold it to his clothes. Deputies said the boy’s friend did as he was told and the victim received burns on his arms and back.
His aunt witnessed the incident. “All his chest burned off and skin hanging off his arms and his hair burned, his eyebrows burned,” said the teen’s aunt Lisa Olefont.
“The little boy went up to him and gashed him with some kinda alcohol or something and I saw the spark and he lit him on fire,” she said.
Olefont immediately called 911 and doused her nephew with water before an ambulance arrived. The boy was taken to the hospital with second and third degree burns. His alcohol-drenched clothes were left behind in his aunt’s driveway.
“It’s horrifying, the way he sounded,” said Esther Releez, who lives four houses down from where the incident happened.
“I heard screaming, so we came out of the house and you can literally see smoke and you can smell him, he was burning,” she said. “He was just screaming for someone to help him.”
“It was even more scary knowing it was a fire challenge that’s going on Facebook,” said Releez. “I think that parents need to pay more attention to their children.”
The teen was transported by Orange County Fire Rescue crews to a local hospital. OIn Monday night, family members said the teen was on life support and was going to have to be flown to a burn unit out of state.
At this time, deputies say there are no charges pending.