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Hot Pants Indeed: Rocks In Pocket Set Woman's Shorts On Fire

The look so harmless.
Win McNamee
/
Getty Images
The look so harmless.

A 43-year-old woman in San Clemente, Calif., suffered second- and third-degree burns on her right leg and right arm Saturday after rocks in a pocket set her shorts on fire, The Orange County Register says.

Orange County Fire Authority officials tell the newspaper that the woman collected the rocks on a nearby beach, returned home and "was standing in her kitchen ... when the pocket of her cargo shorts caught fire."

"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," Fire Authority Capt. Marc Stone told the Register. "The rocks were still smoking when firefighters took them to the hospital."

Now, they're being tested. It's possible, Stone said, that phosphorus in the stones may have caused the combustion.

(We'll say it before others do: This isn't serious news! It's for those of us who like the odd story on occasion.)

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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