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Magician’s head set on fire in attack caught on video

Wayne Houchin, one of the hosts of Discovery's Breaking Magic was set on fire in the Dominican Republic, and it wasn't part of the act.


Kevin Collier


Posted on Nov 30, 2012   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 6:22 am CDT

Every day, the Daily Dot finds something that people on Facebook are sharing and, in turn, shares it with you—with a little explanation. Here’s today’s share.

An American magician who was severely burned, on camera, while visiting a daytime talk show in the Dominican Republic, has taken to Facebook to explain.

Wayne Houchin was on the set of the show Curiosidades when inexplicably, a man who worked on the show “took a handful of Aqua De Florida, ignited it and intentionally dropped it on my head, setting me on fire,” Houchin announced Thursday in a Facebook post. He continued:

I was not aware he was going to do this. This was not a stunt or part of an act – this was a criminal attack.

The fast actions of the rest of our Curiosidades team saved my life.

The fire was put out and I was rushed to the emergency room. I have bad burns on my head, face, neck and right hand.

I am in pain, but am recovering.

Agua de Florida, or Florida Water, is a type of highly alcoholic cologne.

Houchin, one of several hosts of the Discovery show Breaking Magic, also posted a statement, which he said was from the Dominican show’s producers. It identified Houchin’s assailant as Franklin Barazarte, director of the show. Translated from Spanish, it reads in part:

Barazarte, director of that program, without prior notice and without any security measures, offered them “give” them a blessing and taking Florida’s water (which is extremely flammable by their high alcohol content) proceeded to set fire to Wayne Houchin, resulting in serious burns on his face, ear neck and right hand.

We want to make it clear, that this event was not part of our presentation and that neither received any prior notice, was undoubtedly a CRIMINAL attack and unfortunately the premises did not have fire extinguisher, fire or first aid equipment. Only the quick and efficient intervention of the rest of our team saved the life of Wayne.

Disturbing video of the attack is available on YouTube. Some have speculated that Houchin’s assailant meant the attack as some sort of shamanistic ritual. The producers disputed that claim as “lacking in professionalism and human sensitivity,” though they offered no explanation for the attack.

Houchin had appeared on Curiosidades at least once before, in 2010, when he performed a trick that made it appear he’d stopped time.

On Thursday evening, Houchin tweeted that he would extend his stay in the Dominican Republic, and that doctors didn’t expect him to have any visible scars.

Screengrab via Justin Young/YouTube

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*First Published: Nov 30, 2012, 2:14 pm CST