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Robinson Family Farm & customers still in shock after massive parking lot fire

Posted at 8:18 PM, Oct 17, 2022

TEMPLE, Texas — Families are still in shock after a fire broke out at a popular Bell County pumpkin patch on Saturday.

What started out as a nice family day at the Robinson Family Farm pumpkin patch turned into terror as a small grass fire quickly spread out of control.

The fire that started in the parking lot engulfed dozens of cars in flames and left the farm and its customers with a sense of shock and loss.

”That was my only car,” said Anel Mireles, a customer who lost her car in the fire. “I’m a single mom in a single-income household. Fortunately, I have a friend her husband is currently deployed, and she loaned [me her vehicle]."

One customer said she lost more than just a car in the fire.

”I just started a makeup business,” said Ida Hodge, a customer who lost her car in the fire. “So, all my stuff from my business was in there. Some personal things like my daughter’s iPad and just little things that you keep in the car and it’s a total loss.”

While people are able to go take pictures of their cars for insurance claims, the Robinson family was told the vehicles have to stay on the property for now.

”We are currently waiting for the clearance from the Fire Marshal,” said Helen Robinson, owner of Robinson Family Farm. “It is still an active investigation and he’s working out the details. So, as soon as we hear from him, we’ll certainly start moving forward and see what the process looks like to get the vehicles out of here and start to clean up.”

While they continue to work with insurance companies and customers to get them everything they need for a claim, the Robinson Family said they are also trying to help in other ways.

”We are a family establishment,” said Robinson. “So, a lot of families’ cars have been affected, and they do need car seats. We've had a lot of support from the public to donate car seats and rides for people.”

They are also working in ways to assist customers that were affected by the fire but didn’t lose a car.

”To make sure that everybody is taken care of in one way or another,” said Robinson. “Whether that’s with a refund, whether that’s with a rain check, or however we can accommodate those customers."

The Robinson family is asking for patience and understanding as they work to make sure all of their customers are taken care of. They said their first priority is helping the families whose vehicles are still sitting in their parking lot.