The girl who burned nearly half of her body while attempting the so-called “fire challenge” is speaking out, trying to warn others not to try it themselves.
Timiyah Landers was 12 years old when she attempted the stunt in mid-2018.
“She came running up my hallway on fire from her knees to her hair,” her mother, Brandi Owens, recounted last year to Fox 2.
Owen’s fiance sprayed the girl with water, dousing the fire. The teen suffered severe burns and was rushed to the hospital.
“These kids are trying these YouTube challenges, that’s where they get this challenges is YouTube, and they’re trying it with their friends,” Owens said.
The mother told The Detroit News that her daughter and two friends decided to attempt the “fire challenge” but “my daughter was the one to try it first.”
Timiyah is now speaking out for the first time about what happened.
She said her friend was attempting the so-called challenge and accidentally set her on fire. She issued a warning to others contemplating trying the stunt.
“Don’t do it because it’s not worth it,” Landers told WXYZ. “It’s just not worth it.”
The teenager was bedridden in the hospital for two months, heavily bandaged, and barely able to move.
She said she’s trying to make a difference now by advocating for burn survivors and speaking out about what happened.
‘Don’t do it’ Burned teen warns about fire challenge. https://t.co/bgnXDsMFaK
— WXYZ Detroit (@wxyzdetroit) June 15, 2019
“I feel obligated to,” Landers said. “I’ve been through it so I feel like I need to help.
Talk of a “fire challenge” dates back to at least 2012. One of the early videos uploaded to YouTube called “fire challenge” was published online on April 5, 2012. It showed a person lighting his chest hair on fire.
The Know Your Meme website describes it as “a dare game in which the participant voluntarily sets oneself on fire for a short period of time by applying flammable liquids or igniting combustible parts of one’s body and filming the outcome.”
Searches for the challenge died down after 2012 but there are still people who attempt the stunt.
— FOX 7 Austin (@fox7austin) August 20, 2018
‘By The Grace of God’
Timiyah has a GoFundMe page, raising funds for burn survivors.
“On August 17, 2018, regrettably I was at home with friends playing with fire when the alcohol bottle my friend was using exploded splashing all over my body from my hair to my knees. My mom frantically rushed me to Beaumont Hospital where later that night I was transported to Children’s Hospital. The doctors gave my mom an estimate of 6 months to 1 year for me to recover from injuries. By the grace of God, I recovered in 2 months. I thank God that i am alive today to speak my truth and raise awareness to my peers,” she wrote.
The teenager said that the incident has affected her self-esteem and motivated her to give back.
“With me being blessed to heal physically, this is a way to help me heal mentally and emotionally. During my stay at the hospital, sadly I learned that many children there did not have health insurance and their parents could not afford some of the aftercare supplies they needed to heal properly such as dressings, creams, zero form, etc…” she wrote.
“With that being said, I feel that we are all stronger when we have each other. I was once told, “Ask and you shall receive”. So I am asking anyone who is willing to help donate anything you can to my fund to help me purchase the products I need to supply care packages for the burn survivors. This is a new chapter for me and want to start it off by helping others and giving back with the help of our community.”