HolyCoast: Rocks Spontaneously Combust and Severely Burn Woman

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Rocks Spontaneously Combust and Severely Burn Woman

This is a really odd story from nearby San Clemente:
Two rocks that spontaneously ignited in a San Clemente woman's shorts are being sent to a state lab for more testing, officials with Orange County Public Health said Thursday.

The two rocks, smooth and orange and green, were tested at the agency Monday after a 43-year-old woman was severely burned Saturday an hour after she and her daughters collected seven rocks at Trestles State Beach.

Officials with Orange County Public Health have sent two rocks found at Trestles State Beach to a state lab for review.

The agency determined that a phosphate substance was on two rocks and that the other five had been cross-contaminated....

The incident was first reported to the Orange County fire Authority on Saturday at 3:33 p.m. when a 911 call reporting a 'woman on fire in her home' came into the Orange County Fire Authority.

The 43-year-old was in her kitchen when her shorts suddenly burst into flames from the rocks in her right pocket. She tried to 'stop, drop and roll' but was unsuccessful in getting the flames out, Capt. Marc Stone said.

Her husband also tried to help and got second-degree burns when he tried to pull the shorts off, Stone said. 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.

Firefighters responded immediately to the home on Avenida Estrella. When they arrived, the husband had successfully gotten the shorts off his wife and was hosing her down on the front deck with a garden hose, Stone said.

Paramedics treated the woman for severe second- and third-degree burns on her right leg from her thigh to her knee and on her right arm, Stone said. The husband also was treated for second-degree burns on his arm.

Both were taken to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana. Firefighters took the rocks with them to show to doctors, Stone said. The rocks were still smoking while they were transported.
That area has a lot of military operations nearby, not to mention the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant, but how these could have been contaminated and why they combusted is going to be quite a mystery. I'm just glad this woman and her husband will be okay.

And I'm gonna think twice about picking up any rocks on the local beaches.

1 comment:

Nightingale said...

Just don't put the rocks in your pocket.