CROSBY, Texas—When Vicky Ward saw her young brother pouring rubbing alcohol over his body and lighting himself on fire in the bathroom, she thought it was just for laughs.
Within seconds, the ill-conceived stunt took a painful turn.
"He started crying because his stomach was on fire and burnt up," added Ward.
She helped put out the flames. Then paramedics rushed 14-year-old Michael Symonette to the hospital where he was treated by doctors.
"It's a second-degree burn," said Michael after returning home. He even displayed the scars now covering a portion of his upper torso.
The so-called "Fire Challenge" is a game in which teenagers light themselves on fire and then share the videos through social media. Michael's mom, who asked not to be identified, says she was in the next room sleeping when it happened.
"And then I woke up to hearing him scream out lout and I said what happened, and that's when they told me what they did."
And now, what happened in that bathroom is prompting a stern warning from both mother and son.
"Don't do it," said Michael.
"I told him that he needs to talk to the other kids and let them know don't do this," said his mother. "It's not funny. It's not fun."