21 Set Selves Ablaze in Cleveland—for Charity
Participants in fundraiser wore protective gear
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Oct 21, 2013 6:54 AM CDT
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(Newser) – On Saturday night, some 1,500 people gathered near Cleveland's Cuyahoga River to watch nearly two dozen locals literally set on fire. In a charity event backed by Cleveland printing company Hotcards, 21 people, including mayoral candidate Ken Lanci, a local radio host, and Hotcards' owner, wore gear to protect them from the flames; materials were soaked with special gel, WKYC notes. They walked and waved as they burned for 32 seconds before being extinguished, setting a new Guinness World Record, the Plain Dealer reports. "It was a little gratifying,'' says one woman who set her husband on fire. "Not really. To pour the (lighter) fluid all over and then to light it was pretty scary."

While some said they felt nothing, others felt a little warm, the paper notes. The event raised money for the Cleveland Foodbank and a nonprofit fighting poverty in South Africa, Brick by Brick. It was organized by Ohio stuntman Ted Batchelor, who was also in charge of the earlier record of 17 people simultaneously on fire. "It's all about bringing positives to Cleveland, and if we have to set ourselves on fire to do it, then so be it," said radio host Archie Berwick.

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Showing 3 of 27 comments
Oct 21, 2013 7:25 PM CDT
Well, in a city where the Mighty Cuyahoga River itself caught fire. Maybe that's their mascot now? I can't believe people did this, including political candidates. "Playing with fire" is a common saying that has a basis. Now I'll keep my eyes peeled for reports of children being admitted to emergency rooms in a very short time to emulate the absolute stupidity of adults. Everyone involved INCLUDING Guinness should be in complete shame.
Oct 21, 2013 6:05 PM CDT
Sick, but, what do you expect. It's Cleveland!
Oct 21, 2013 4:41 PM CDT
In the 1960s, a polar bear plunge in the Cuyahoga would catch you on fire.