At least 30 people were treated for minor burns after walking on hot coals during self-help guru Tony Robbins’ “Unleash the Power Within” seminar in Dallas,Texas, fire and medical officials said.
According to Robbins’ website, the “fire walk” is intended to help people conquer their fears by walking across hot coals. It takes place during the “Turn Fear Into Power” portion of the event.
“Walking over those hot coals is a symbolic experience that proves if you can make it through the fire, you can make it through anything,” his website says.
Of the more than 7,000 participants, at least 30 sustained minor burns to their feet and five were hospitalized, according to Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans.
Dallas Fire-Rescue responded to multiple calls around 11 p.m. regarding “burn victims” at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center.
Jennifer Connelly, a spokeswoman for Robbins, did not specifically address the incident at the Dallas seminar but told CNN, “The fire walk portion of the event has been celebrated for 35 years.”
Trained medical and event staff personnel were at the fire walk specifically to offer quick and easy remedies for any soreness, Connelly said.
“It is always the goal to have no guests with any discomfort afterwards, but it’s not uncommon to have fewer than 1% of participants experience ‘hot spots,’ which is similar to a sunburn that can be treated with aloe,” Connelly said.
The event organizers had the necessary permits for the fire walk, according to Evans. There were also two fire prevention officers on hand monitoring the event, Evans said.
Baylor University’s Medical Center confirmed receiving some victims Thursday night. The hospital did not disclose the degree of the burns, but because the injuries were minor, the victims were treated and released the same night, spokesman Craig Civale said.
Robbins’ website posted Friday, “We are pleased to have completed another successful fire walk for 7,000 guests and look forward to the remainder of an outstanding weekend with them.”