Orange County News
Rocks from beach catch fire in woman's pocket - exclusive
SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (KABC) -- A woman literally burned a hole in her pocket from rocks collected on a family beach trip to San Clemente. In an Eyewitness News exclusive, authorities say the woman suffered serious burns.
The rocks contain various colors - some green, some orange. There were seven of them altogether, collected by a San Clemente family during a fun morning at Upper Trestles on San Onofre State Beach last Saturday.
"The daughters were playing with the rocks, and she took them away, and I guess basically, they combusted in her pocket due to friction," said neighbor Jacob.
Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Marc Stone said there were actual flames coming off the woman's cargo shorts.
"We found that a 43-year-old female did have severe burns to her leg, second- and third-degree burns," Stone said.
The incident remains under investigation. The county's health care agency says they're waiting for further test results on the rocks, but they believe two of them contained a phosphorus substance. The other five became cross-contaminated by being together in the victim's pocket when the reaction happened.
How phosphorus rocks could have ended up on the beach is unclear, but county officials say environmental health workers visited the area and did not find a public safety problem - only adding to the mystery of how it could happen.
"I talked with the paramedic today. He's been on numerous calls for 27 years. He's never seen anything like it," Stone said.
Authorities say the woman's husband also suffered burns to his hands as he was trying to help his wife.
orange county news, eileen frere
- Missing hiker rescued in Santa Clarita canyon 5 min ago
- Missing jetliner made it to Malacca Strait 17 min ago
- Lead found in soil at homes, school in Vernon 5 min ago
- Overturned big rig shuts lanes on 91 East
- Prosecutor: OC couple's murder not about money
- Remains of Hollywood Park racehorse exhumed
- Suspect arrested in Hollywood severed head case
- CIA improperly searched network, says senator
- Japan tsunami disasters: 3rd anniversary
- Pistorius shot gun out car sunroof - friend 43 min ago
- Men's Wearhouse buys Jos. A. Bank for $1.8M
- abcnews: Family calls 911, held hostage by pet cat
- Justin Bieber gets mad in deposition video
- OTRC: Elisabeth Moss: Armisen marriage 'traumatic'
- New technology monitors pet fitness
28 min ago