Discarded Cigarette Destroys More Than 70 Cars Parked At A Pumpkin Farm

Over 70 vehicles were burned in a fire Saturday afternoon at The Robinson Family Farm in Temple Texas.

Firefighters from Little River Academy, Troy, Rogers, Salado, Holland, Bartlett and Belton responded to the blaze at approximately 1 p.m. Oct. 15.

Due to the large number of cars involved, the East Side Strike Team was called in to bring in additional resources as soon as the first units arrived.

Although some cars were moved away from the flames by firefighters, approximately 73 cars were destroyed.

No injuries have been reported, and no one has been hospitalized. In a release from Bell County, four firefighters were evaluated and released with heat-related injuries, while two attendees experienced anxiety attacks.

“We would like to thank all of our staff, first responders and customers who did all they could to deal with the fire in our parking lot today,” the owners said. “We are so thankful to report that no one was harmed and that is of the utmost importance to us.”

As Tonya Garcia and her daughter Ava were walking to the back of the farm, they noticed dark smoke clouds in the distance.

“I walked toward it just to see what was going on,” Tonya told KWTX News 10. “Some people told me that cars were on fire in the parking lot.”

The smoke was also noticed by Jimi Hernandez, who was with his family at the farm at the time.

“The black smoke was just pouring. I was like, I’ll be right back. I took off running. I didn’t know what was on fire, but I knew it wasn’t good.” – he said.

There was little damage to the Garcia family car, although many cars nearby suffered significant damage. For the Hernandez family, their car was totally destroyed.

They plan to reopen next weekend after closing the farm on Sunday, October 16.

Initial reports indicate that a discarded cigarette may have started the fire, but the cause is still under investigation.

An investigation has been launched by the Bell County Fire Marshal and Sheriff’s Department into who may have dropped the cigarette in the parking lot.

John Nightbridge is a veteran reporter, researcher, and economic policy major from UCLA. Passionate about world issues and potential ways to solve them is a significant focus of his work. Writing freelance and reading the news are John's passions at work. Outside of work, it's all about sky diving, surfing, and stock market modeling.