Her family is raising money to help her recover and rebuild their home.

By Claire Gillespie
January 17, 2020

Some pretty crazy social media challenges have popped up over the last few years. And one of the latest definitely ups the “crazy” ante. It involves dousing your body in a flammable liquid, like rubbing alcohol, then lighting it on fire.

Yes, people are actually doing this. And for one 11-year-old girl who may have attempted it, the consequences are severe. 

The unnamed child, who lives in Pinellas County, Florida, was hospitalized with second-degree burns after she reportedly started a fire with a candle in her bedroom. The blaze quickly spread and the house was destroyed. Luckily, the three other people who were in the house at the time made it out unharmed. 

Monessia Rhoden - GoFundMe.com

The girl’s sister, Monessia Rhoden, shared photos of the gutted house on a GoFundMe page she’s set up to raise money to help the family rebuild their home. 

“On January 4th, a candle turned over resulting in a house fire and caused my family to lose everything,” Rhoden wrote on the fundraising page. “Sadly, my 11 yr old little sister was severely burned in the fire trying to extinguish it, and is now In Tampa General hospital burn unit. Luckily, no one else was hurt, but my sister is facing a long, painful road to recovery. The fire resulted in a complete loss, and my family is facing the task of piecing their lives back together. Any assistance is greatly appreciated - monetary, supplies, prayers, etc.”

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Other images added to the page on January 17 show the young girl in hospital, her burns clearly visible. 

On Facebook, her mother, Tricia Haughton, said she had second-degree burns on her hands, stomach, thighs, and chest, and underwent surgery on Jan. 7.

Police investigating the fire suggest it started because the girl was attempting the fire challenge. 

St. Petersburg Fire Rescue Deputy Fire Marshall Lt. Steven Lawrence told Fox 13: “Common sense says don't pour a flammable liquid on yourself and then ignite it. What it's gonna do is it's gonna heat up your skin and eventually the alcohol is gonna burn off. But it's also gonna destroy your skin tissue and the areas around that, it's gonna start to heat up and basically you're gonna melt your own skin and cook your own skin.”

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However, Haughton told WFLA that her daughter denied attempting the challenge, although she said she knew the child took tea light candles into her room before the fire started. 

“She brought it to her room, she lit it,” she said. “And the alcohol, she poured the alcohol on it, and it just went out of control. Things happen. She is a child.”

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