Texas Pumpkin Patch Inferno Torches 73 Vehicles
Authorities suspect a discarded cigarette may have started the fire.
A large fire broke out in a pumpkin patch in Temple, Texas on Saturday, with 73 vehicles destroyed in the blaze, reports KCEN-TV.
The fire took place at the Robinson Family Farm, which regularly hosts visitors at its pumpkin patch each fall. The fire broke out shortly before 1 p.m., and quickly spread throughout the carpark, while leaving the farm proper unscathed.
Video from the ground shows some visitors fleeing the blaze while others ran to try and rescue their vehicles. The fire sent a thick plume of black smoke into the air as cars burned to the ground.
Tires can be heard popping from the extreme heat in the footage below. The fire actually burned hot enough to melt alloy wheels on some of the vehicles involved. Images shared to Facebook show entirely burned-out cars, scorched right down to the bare metal. Interiors, paint, and tires are nowhere to be seen, having literally gone up in smoke. Thankfully for the insurance adjusters, VINs are usually stamped on metal plates for easy identification after such incidents.
Firefighters were able to get the blaze under control, and the fire was put out before 3:30 p.m. Two visitors and four firefighters suffered heat related injuries and were treated on site, according to Chris Mahlstedt, fire marshall of Bell County. It's suspected the fire may have started from a discarded cigarette thrown into dry grass, with the fire marshall's office asking any witnesses to come forward in a Facebook post on Sunday.
The farm closed on October 16, but will reopen this coming weekend according to a statement on Facebook. The Robinson Family Farm has also added an extra weekend to its fall festival schedule to give more people an opportunity to visit the farm and hang out with the pumpkins. Owners of cars left in the carpark have been asked to contact the farm directly.
Nothing burns quite like dry grass on a hot Texas afternoon, as this incident demonstrates. It's a great reminder that if you are having a smoke at the pumpkin patch this fall, be mindful of where you're throwing your butts.
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