A fire-breather caught fire during a pep-rally performance at a Florida high school, horrifying students and school staff in the audience on Thursday and leaving himself and nearly 20 other injured.
The incident occurred at Atlantic Community High in Delray Beach, where the performer and seven students hospitalized, the Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
The fire-breather’s face caught fire, and flames spread to his arms and body before 2,000 students. He ran onto the gym’s floor, which also caught fire, the newspaper reported.
Cellphone video of the incident, captured by Twitter user @SolJah13, showed students screaming as the flames burned.
“Sit down, sit down! Everybody sit down!” someone can be heard shouting.
In addition to the eight people hospitalized, another dozen students were treated on scene, according to Delray Fire Rescue. The students were treated for respiratory injuries.
The pep rally took place on the last day before spring break, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
“Our thoughts are with the performer and the students,” the Palm Beach County school district wrote on Facebook.
“Atlantic HS worked to excite their students about upcoming testing. Obviously the incident that occured (sic) was a terrible accident,” the district wrote.
Ricky Charles, the 53-year-old performer, had serious injuries but was in good condition by the afternoon, a spokesman for the hospital where he was taken told the Sun-Sentinel.
Charles goes by “Inferno” and owns a stunt performance company, according to the newspaper.
Delray Beach is about 50 miles north of Miami.