DELTONA, Fla. -- A Deltona teenager was hospitalized on Wednesday after suffering multiple burns while imitating a video posted on YouTube.
Russell Gortzig, 13, said his friend siphoned gasoline from a riding lawnmower and poured it on Gortzig. The teen said he held the lighter away from him, but a combination of the spark and fumes caught his shorts on fire.
"Skin missing all the way down to his ankle on the front and the back," mother Linda McCrea said.
McCrea said the boys were trying to copy a stunt they saw on the video sharing Web site, YouTube, where a man in a banana suit lights himself on fire. She warned other parents to closely monitor the online activities of their children and wants YouTube to tighten its user guidelines. She believes YouTube is partially to blame for her son' pain.
A representative for YouTube said the Web site takes in 20 hours of video every minute and said, while it's impossible to screen postings in advance, users can flag potentially dangerous video.
It is reviewed and age restrictions are often added.
Gortzig is in stable condition at Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital. Teen Sets Self On Fire To Imitate YouTube Clip - Local News Story - WESH Orlando