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Woman's Shorts Catch Fire When Beach Rocks Spontaneously Combust in Pocket

Photo by jag_cz via Shutterstock
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You read that right: Rocks collected by a woman and her kids at an Orange County beach somehow combusted inside her cargo shorts.

The victim, a 43-year-old mother, was carrying in her pocket seven orange and green rocks gathered Saturday at San Onofre State Beach, reports City News Service.

Back at home, the rocks ignited inside her clothing. "She had been home for about an hour when the pocket of her cargo shorts caught fire, OCFA Capt. Marc Stone said," according to the OC Register.

The woman reacted by trying to "stop, drop, and roll," but couldn't get the flames out. Her husband came to her aid and yanked her shorts off, suffering second-degree burns himself in the process.

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The couple got outside on the lawn, and the husband hosed off the wife, who ultimately
suffered third-degree burns. Emergency personnel called to the scene found them in front of the house.

Meanwhile, inside the house, things were still heated: "The rocks, described as small, the size of a hamburger patty, smooth and orange and green in color, fell from the shorts onto the floor and continued to burn the wood floor and fill the house with smoke."

Both were taken to an area hospital for treatment.

The rocks, however, are now in the hands of Orange County Public Heath and tests are being conducted to determine just why the heck they caught fire inside the woman's shorts. Two of the rocks contained phosphorous, which is naturally occurring at the site where they were gathered, however, the other five rocks were cross-contaminated while being carried inside the shorts pocket. The tests could take a few weeks.

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