Texas families visiting a Temple pumpkin patch Saturday had an afternoon they may never forget, but not for the right reasons.
As families were wandering about the Robinson Family Farm, they noticed that smoke was coming from the parking lot.
John Bessick, a veteran, said he and a friend were about to leave when they saw cars first catch fire and then explode.
“It looked like something out of a war zone,” he said, according to KXXV-TV. “Since I have PTSD, it’s kind of nerve-racking.”
Pumpkin patch caught on fire! I hope everyone is ok! https://t.co/JXjgZwyHjq pic.twitter.com/tYRIMWRJab
— Steven S. (@salweezy) October 15, 2022
A representative of Bell County said at least 73 vehicles were destroyed.
A definitive cause has not been established, but the representative said in a statement that initial reports “indicate the fire possibly started from an inappropriately discarded cigarette in the parking area.”
A pasture that was being used as a parking lot had about 10 cars on fire when the first units responded at about 1 p.m., according to KWTX-TV.
Soon, seven other fire departments were called to respond.
Jimi Hernandez, who was there with his family, had a bad feeling about the situation when he noticed the smoke.
“I saw the black smoke; I mean, it was just pouring,” he told KWTX. “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.”
It was too late. His car was destroyed in the fire.
Kat Cabana of Granbury went with her sister’s family, according to WFLA-TV.
“We went for [a] family day on Saturday, go to the pumpkin patch, take cute little pictures,” she said.
“We saw black smoke, and we’re like, something legit is on fire,” said Cabana.
A parking lot fire destroyed 73 vehicles at a pumpkin patch in Temple, Texas, leaving a graveyard of burnt cars.
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— Austin Statesman (@statesman) October 18, 2022
“You could hear glass exploding, what I assume was tires popping, exploding, people’s gas tanks exploding. The wind was taking the smoke and making it bigger and bigger,” she said “People were running, running through the parking lot.”
Her car and her sister’s car were among those vehicles destroyed.
“The windows are gone, handles are melted off, tires are gone,” she said. “We’re OK, cars can be replaced.”
The farm was closed for the rest of the weekend, but will reopen this weekend, KXXV reported.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.