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Beach rocks that sparked fire had high level of phosphorus

In an Eyewitness News exclusive, authorities say a woman was seriously burned by rocks collected on a family beach trip.

June 1, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
An elevated level of phosphorous has been confirmed on the rocks that spontaneously ignited in the pants of a San Clemente woman, according to the Orange County Public Health Care Agency.

Lyn Hiner suffered second and third degree burns. She needed surgery after the rocks she collected along San Onofre State Beach last month ignited when she got home.

The land is owned by the United States Marine Corps and operated by state park rangers. The rocks were located in San Diego County.

Phosphorous is normally stored in water, but when it's out of water and exposed to oxygen, it can spontaneously burst into flames.

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