Woman burned after picking up rocks at beach
SAN CLEMENTE – A 43-year-old woman is undergoing surgery after two rocks that she collected at a South County beach ignited in the pocket of her shorts, officials from Orange County Fire Authority said.
The incident happened about 3:30 p.m. Saturday when the woman was standing in her kitchen after returning from an outing to Trestles Beach. She had been home for about an hour when the pocket of her cargo shorts caught fire, OCFA Capt. Marc Stone said.
"I talked to the paramedic who treated her, and in his 27 years in responding to calls near the beach, he's never seen this," Stone said. "The rocks were still smoking when firefighters took them to the hospital."
OCFA hazardous materials unit was consulted. The rocks have been taken to Orange County Public Heath and are undergoing testing to see what happened, Stone said. "Tests are expected to take a few weeks because they are dealing with an unknown.
"There is phosphorous that naturally occurs on the sand at the beach, but no one has ever heard of pants catching fire," Stone said.