Fire Challenge Sends Boy, 16 To V.H. – Latest American Trend Hits St. Lucia

A devastating American trend which has been setting social media ablaze this year has reached St. Lucian shores, sending one teenager to the Intensive Care Unit of the Victoria Hospital and teaching him that not every trend is meant to be followed.

The trend which has become increasingly popular amongst teenagers in the United States is called the Fire Challenge.

According to Wikipedia it is the application of flammable liquid to one’s body and then setting one alight whilst being video recorded. The results are then posted to social media.

In addition to the obvious dangers, many participants run away in panic without first dousing the flames. This allows the oxygen to make the flames spread more easily.

Another immediate danger is the participants inhaling superheated air which can then damage the lungs.

One local mother is feeling the burn after her 16 year old son nearly lost his life whilst attempting the challenge on Wednesday night.

An emotional and physically drained Samantha Jn. Paul of Bishop’s Gap told THE VOICE exclusively on Monday of the whirlwind of emotions that she is currently going through seeing her son in his current state.

Jn. Paul said she does not know all the details of the incident as even though she was at home at the time, her son, had shut himself in the bathroom to perform the challenge.

According to her daughter who was also at home at the time and subsequently saved her brother’s life, her son had doused himself in hand sanitizer and set himself alight with intentions of running into the shower to put out the flames immediately.

The distraught mother said whilst this was going on she herself went into a state and passed out. It was left to her daughter to put out the flames and her son was rushed to the hospital where he was admitted in need of intensive care.

Since the incident, the student of the George Charles Secondary School is filled with regret. His mother said: “He’s taking it hard as anybody would to see that you look one way and now you look different but he’s dealing with it. He’s a strong boy and I think he’ll pull through”.

She said thankfully, he has shown speedy improvements. The youngster was unable to see as he had received second degree burns to his face as well as half of his back and his entire front. However, in the days since the incident, his vision has recovered.

Jn. Paul said before this trend landed on her doorstep, she was completely oblivious to anything of this nature. She said the only trend she had known about was the “ice bucket challenge”.

Words, she said, could not begin to express how she felt as a mother to see her on suffer. She said: “As much as I’m feeling the anger that he did that, seeing your son like that, I feel like it should be me. I should be feeling that kind of pain”.

Jn. Paul sent out a message to parents, especially those like herself who are unaware of the dangers that lie in the cyber world for the young and impressionable. “Speak to your children and let them know that whatever challenge they come across on the internet that they shouldn’t try it because all is not what it may seem. It might look one way but trying it could lead to horrifying consequences and situations”.

As for the youngsters who might be interested in going down the same route as her son, she said: “Don’t try these things. Please trust me because my son is in a lot of pain at the hospital and he said if he had to turn back the hands of time, he would never ever do that. So I’m pleading with you all, the children who see these things on the internet, that’s the work of the devil so you shouldn’t try it”.

Since news of this challenge began circulating, there have been a few deaths in the U.S. including that of a 15 year old male from Buffalo.

Recognising the immense danger involved in the act, popular social media site Facebook has taken vigorous and active steps to remove any videos of the challenge posted on their site.

Rochelle entered the Media fraternity in May 2011 as a fresh-faced young woman with a passion for the English language, a thirst for worldly knowledge and a longing to inform the world of what was happening around them, whether it was good or bad.

She began as part of a small news team at Choice Television, which falls under the MediaZone umbrella. She was hired as one of the original members of the newly created Choice News Now team...Read full bio...



  1. Wow. This is just one awful example of how kids are being influenced by external forces such as the internet.

    Learn to think for yourselves and dont follow others. They only want you to fail.

    Live your life clean

  2. That’s what happens when you are a copy-cat.

    Every conceivable ills invented by the Americans, before long, we Lucians perfecting the act of the ill! Very sad!

  3. tout sa zot we’ zot andidan’y. pardon ,se’ kon sa ou apwan. America ni dan ek mordan ishmwen. pwen che`.

  4. Another unfortunate case of jackass syndrome…now let’s tests whether or not learning has occurred . I challenge him to try it again.

    1. The man right cause that boy jack ass, how u want to follow something Americans of all people make up? That’s if he research the one’s that went bad smfh, the shower is the worst place to try and run to

  5. Before this challenge came a trend as a child my siblings and I actually would put rubbing alcohol in our hands and light it then turn it off and so did many kids…I think its something that can be done out of curiosity and exploring. So to those call him jackass and stupid check on your kids cause i can assure you most have tried it.

  6. Firstly I would like to thank the individuals who has acknowledge this was a teenage who has made a mistake, thank you for all your well wishes and prayers. We are praying he recovers fully and by the grace of God he will. Now to the rest of you inconsiderate individuals who has felt the need to leave such tactless comments on a highly emotional and sensitive matter. Blaming a teenager for making a mistake is ridiculous. Before you decided to give your opinion on the matter, did you think for one second how your comment would affect this individual and his family members. We are not here seeking pity or requesting that you be sympathetic to our situation. The family’s consent wasn’t given to post a PRIVATE family matter on an UNPROFESSIONAL news page on a social media site. The nerve of some indiscreet attention seeking individuals. We are all human and we have all made mistakes, blaming this teenager doesn’t give the impression that you are educated. I understand that we all have different opinions but at some point I would also like to believe, that in every house hold in St Lucia, parents are teaching their kids compassion, manners, respect etc. Now I am unsure due to the hideous comments posted. Fine you don’t feel sorry. fine you don’t care, fine you think he was dumb, I understand but my only question is: who the f**k ask you. Why do you think that we would be interested in the opinions of some simple minded, uneducated, ignorant individuals who are apparently seeking likes. This child has to live with this for the rest of his life, with a daily reminder when he looks in the mirror. Can you imagine recovering from such a horrible incident then have to face public persecution. I cannot express how disgusted and appalled I am by the behavior of the St Lucian community who prays for a better St Lucia.

  7. God should allow him to die in order for the stupid boy to show a good example to others. Use the brains that God gave you to good purpose always.

      1. They are yet to discover the longevity or fountain of youth pill. We all will die until. Jackass. What an idiotic comment to make about life and death.

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