Twenty-one people lit themselves on fire in Cleveland, setting a new Guinness World Record.
Everything burns in Cleveland.
In the city of the flaming river, a group of people lit themselves on fire to set a new world record.
The 21 burners gathered on Saturday in the parking lot of a local restaurant as a roaring crowd counted down.
“Three! Two! One! Ignite!”
The burners wore fireproof gel suit under their flaming layers of cotton and wool.
Torches flared, and the crew burst into flame, marching back and forth across the lot with their arms extended like blazing airplanes.
The 32-second stunt ended with a stop, drop and roll into the Guinness World Records for “most people performing full body burns.”
Cleveland printing company Hotcards staged the spectacle as a fiery fundraiser on the banks of the Cuyahoga River, a waterway once so polluted it famously caught fire in 1969.
The burners marched back and forth for 32 seconds in front of a roaring crowd at Shooters nightclub in Cleveland.
“We take a lot of heat in Cleveland as the Burning River City. Yet, it became the catalyst for a lot Cleveland pride, including environmental movements, breweries, and a whole lot of ‘Hot in Cleveland’ fame,” Hotcards’ CEO John Gadd said in a statement. “It’s a unique part of our legacy that we can embrace and give new meaning with such a magical spectacle.”
Stuntman Ted Batchelor coordinated a 55-person team of “burners” and “igniters” over two months of training. The burners wore fireproof gel suits under layers of cotton and wool that served as the fuel for the blaze.
Local CEOs, politicians, a funeral director, minister and radio DJ filled out the crew of flaming participants.
The new 21-person record eclipses the previous record of 17, also set in Ohio.
Batchelor lit two of them himself and scanned the lot as his blazing pupils glowed in the night.
“I could see it all,” Batchelor told the Daily News. “And in my mind, it looked great. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this looks beautiful.’”
Batchelor, 55, had coordinated the previous record of 17 full-body burns in 2009 in South Russell, Ohio, and has set five Guinness records in his life.
He’s well aware of the national embarrassment Cleveland suffered after the burning river and said the record was a way for the city to spark interest in its resurgence while raising money for the Cleveland Foodbank and Brick by Brick, an Ohio-based charity that aids women and children in South Africa.
“We’re going to take that fire and use it to our best interests,” Batchelor said.
Read more: Daily News