Pole dancing fire-breather suffers horrific facial burns

A fire-breather suffered horrific injuries when an impromptu demonstration went disastrously wrong.

Jo Robinson suffered severe burns on her face, chest, hands, lungs, throat, nose and even her eyeballs.

She took a mouthful of camping oil, instead of paraffin, which ignited on her body, rather than away from it.

Ms Robinson, 38, a mother-of-three from Ballyclare, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, was in Chicago, USA, to judge a pole dancing competition.

Jo Robinson, pictured before a horrific fire-breathing accident

She suffered burns to her throat, face, lungs and even eyeballs

Jo Robinson, pictured left before the incident, suffered burns to her face, lungs, throat and even eyeballs, pictured right, after the professional fire-breather performed a demonstration that went wrong

She was showing off her fire-breathing skills to friends after the event, on 10 July.

Ms Robinson said: 'I don't know if I was aware that I was on fire.

'I felt really hot and I dropped and rolled to put myself out. I was so calm but the girls were screaming.

'I was only on fire for three or four seconds, but every second counts, and your skin continues to burn afterwards. That's why it's so important to get cold water on it.'

Medics had to watch her around the clock as they feared she'd stop breathing. Jo was also at serious risk of a heart attack as her body fought to recover from the burns.

Ms Robinson, who owns the Polelicious studio in Ballyclare, believes she had a lucky escape from the horrific incident and is expected to make a full recovery from her burn injuries.

She faces a medical bill of up to £18,500 and although she had insurance for the trip, fire-breathing isn't covered.

Ms Robinson is an accomplished aerial artist who also performs a fire act which includes fire breathing and body burning - running lit torches across her body.

But when she attempted to show friends how it's done during a recent trip to Chicago, Ms Robinson used camping oil instead of paraffin, and the liquid ignited on her body.

She said: 'I was over with some friends and we had just finished at the competition and the girls were saying they'd love to learn how to fire breathe,.

'I am super-cautious - you have to be when you're doing an aerial act 30ft above the ground. I said it all depended what the weather was like.

'You can't fire breathe in humidity or rain or if it's windy.

'I started off showing them how to spit water, and we did some body burning and I thought that was enough. I had a terrible feeling that I shouldn't do the fire breathing.

'I put the camping oil in my mouth and realised I couldn't even feel it. With paraffin it's quite thick and you know it's in your mouth. I thought I shouldn't do this, and I put the fire stick out.

'That's when I should have stopped.'

Ms Robinson did another safety assessment around the garden and decided the conditions were right. 

She told her pals to stand back, relit

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