Woman Burns 13-Year-Old Stepson In 'Fire Challenge,' Police Say

| by Alexander Rubinstein

A woman has been charged with reckless child endangerment and assault for setting her stepson on fire as part of a “fire challenge” in Western Pennsylvania, state police said.

Last year, Connie Kirby allegedly poured rubbing alcohol on the back of her stepson, who was 13 at the time, according to WTAE. She then reportedly lit the alcohol on fire, resulting in burns on 16 percent of his body.

“She asked me if I wanted to play the game," Tre Kirby, now 15, said. "And I said no. So then she called me 'punk,' so we did it. We went in the bathroom, she poured a whole bunch [of alcohol] on my butt and then she lit it on fire.”

Police say that Tre screamed in pain for about a minute while on fire. His sister eventually put out the flames using Kool-Aid.

Connie allegedly refused to take the boy to the hospital when he asked.

Police say William Kirby, the boy’s father, was not home at the time of the incident. When he arrived, he was told what happened but did not take his son to the hospital. He is now charged with failing to take the boy to get treatment.

“[My father] was like, ‘Let’s take him to the hospital.’ [Connie] was like, ‘No, I know how to do nursing,’” Tre said.

Tre says that Connie put Neosporin on his burns and gave him medication.

Tre was refused treatment for a month, according to police, which caused his skin to bubble up, fill with liquid and eventually burst. His wounds became infected afterward, reports CBS News.

The boy kept the burns hidden from his biological mother, Candra Burkes, for a year and a half. She contacted police when she finally learned what happened.

The Kirbys claimed that Tre was riding a lawnmower, and when it fell over he caught on fire. They also said the burns were caused by a bonfire.

A medical expert, however, said the boy's scars were consistent with those caused by liquid accelerant being poured on someone.

Connie apparently took to Facebook after she was charged, writing: “The kids are out of control. They will pay for this. They did this to their other stepmother before me.”

Sources: CBS News, WTAE / Photo Credit: Screenshot via WTAE