Disturbing 'fire challenge' leaves 12-year-old with severe burns to half of her body
A 12-year-old girl from Detroit was hospitalized with severe burns after participating in what her mother called the "fire challenge." Timiyah Landers was hanging out with two friends at her house when she was "engulfed in flames." She was reportedly trying to pull off a disturbing internet challenge that she and her friends saw on YouTube.
Recalling the incident, Timiyah's mother Brandi Owens said that she heard a little explosion and then she saw her daughter "running up [a] hallway on fire from her knees to her hair."
Brandi's fiance quickly directed Timiyah to the bathtub and sprayed her with water. She was then rushed to the hospital and upon reaching the doctors told the family that Timiyah had suffered more than 49 percent of her body was burned.
Brandi said, "I can't help my baby. I can't help her."
Timiyah's friends admitted that they all were participating in the "fire challenge," an Internet trend in which people seemingly douse themselves in rubbing alcohol and set themselves on fire," as reported by Fox 2. One of the girls said that she saw many people taking part in the challenge. Timiyah, who was reportedly supposed to start seventh grade in the upcoming weeks, is expected to remain in the hospital for several months.
She'll need to have "at least 3 more surgeries" over the course of her recovery. Brandi warned other parents and said that they need to pay attention to what their children are watching on the internet. She also advised them to ensure that their children do not participate in such life-threatening challenges.
Speaking of these disturbing internet challenges, Brandi said: "These kids are trying these YouTube challenges. Monitor these kids, especially with these phones, and if I could after with this happening, my kids would never be able to be on social media — no more iPhones, nothing." She even started a GoFundMe page in order to pay for the hospital expenses. "Children often do not realize that life is a precious gift and that they cannot copy things that they see on the internet," she wrote.
She further added, "I hope no other family has to go through this as a parent you always want to protect your child and never want your child to feel pain. Timiyah has 4 other siblings, and they want their sister to get better." Brandi added that she wanted parents to be more careful with their children.
"I typically am very independent and do not ask for help however family and friends have encouraged me to start a go fund me to help Timiyah. We all are trying to hold it together and be strong for her. Anything you can donate would be appreciated," read an excerpt from the description. "I also want to encourage you to talk to all children in your family about these challenges that are on social media. Continue to pray for Timiyah and our family during this difficult time."
People were quick to donate and send some words of support for the family. "I will have your family in my prayers. Please send a note on her progress. I have a 15 yr old daughter, and this breaks my heart. Please keep us up to date on her progress and her needs," wrote one, while another added, "You and your family are in my prayers. Such a tragic situation. I'm so sorry for her and for you."
Of the $5,000 goal, $3,230 has been raised so far.