What is the rubbing alcohol challenge? South Carolina boy severely burned himself – USA TODAY

Spartanburg boy severely burned after officials believe he participated in online challenge

Fire challenge a dangerous trend(Photo: WVEC)

(Editor’s note: Neither the male in the video nor the male in the photo are the Spartanburg boy.)

A Spartanburg County boy is recovering at a burn center in Augusta, Georgia, after officials believe he set himself on fire while attempting to participate in a social media-fueled dare called the “rubbing alcohol challenge.” 

The challenge, which is sometimes referred to as the “fire challenge,” involves people dousing parts of their body in rubbing alcohol or a similar fast-burning liquid and lighting it on fire. The challenge has been around since at least 2012.

Spartanburg Fire Marshal Brad Hall said a 12-year-old boy was flown to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta with severe burns covering about 40 percent of his body. 

More: The ‘condom snorting challenge’ is every parent’s worst nightmare

Hall said the boy was home alone at the time. Investigators haven’t yet been able to interview the child, but Hall said his school resource officer spoke with friends who said he may have been attempting the challenge.

Hall said authorities found two bottles of rubbing alcohol and a lighter in the room where the boy was burned.

Human skin burns at about 130 degrees, according to Hall. Depending on the concentration of the rubbing alcohol or similar liquid used in the challenge, Hall said it can burn at temperatures upwards of 1,000 degrees.

Why was the Spartanburg case more dangerous than others?

The challenge is not new to social media. Much like the cinnamon challenge or the condom snorting challenge, it has been around for years.

In the summer of 2014, USA TODAY reported a

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