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Beach rocks that burst into flames in O.C. woman's pocket tested

Beach rocks that burst into flames in a San Clemente woman’s pocket were being tested, authorities said Thursday.

The 43-year-old woman, whose name was not released, was hospitalized for second- and third-degree burns. She had collected seven colored rocks, known by locals as trestles, while visiting San Onofre State Beach with her family on Saturday, Orange County fire officials told KABC-TV.

She had returned home for about an hour when, apparently because of the friction, the rocks caught fire, igniting her shorts.

When the rocks fell to the floor, they continued to burn the wood floor of her house. Her husband’s hands were also burned as he tried to help her, and the “rocks were still smoking when firefighters took them to the hospital,” Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Marc Stone told the Orange County Register.

Orange County officials told KABC that the incident remained under investigation, and authorities from the county health agency said two of the rocks contained a "phosphorus substance," a chemical element that can be highly flammable.


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-- A Times staff writer

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