Officials warn TikTok viral video challenge is causing fires


PLYMOUTH, Mass. (WPRI) — Fire officials in Massachusetts are warning about an alarming new trend on social media.

High school students are using a penny, a charger, and an outlet in the latest dangerous challenge that has now gone viral on the video app TikTok.

When students plug in a cell phone charger into a wall outlet and then drop a penny behind it, the reaction causes it to short out and in some cases, cause a fire.

The Massachusetts State Fire Marshal’s Office sent a YouTube video out to Fire Departments warning them about the new trend.

The latest fire was Tuesday at Plymouth North High School but there has also been a similar incident in Holden. Charges have also been filed against a student at Westford Academy.

“The electricity propels the charger and the coin, molten metal at this point, outward,” Chief Ed Bradley of the Plymouth Fire Department said. “It could easily get you in the face, in the eye, cause blindness or your clothing to catch on fire.”

Firefighters warn this could potentially be deadly and cause a fire in the wall that goes undetected until it’s too late.

They are asking parents watching these videos to speak to their children about the real risks of doing something they see on social media.

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