Oh my gourd. Are those blazing jack-o'-lanterns on the road or did 5,000 pumpkins go up in flames on the 5 Freeway?
It's the latter.
Only days before Halloween, a truckload of gourds sizzled on the side of the freeway near the Smokey Bear Road exit in Lebec around 2 a.m. Wednesday after a truck carrying them caught fire, according to authorities. The California Highway Patrol said nobody was injured.
The pumpkins were on their way south from Van Groningen & Sons farm in Manteca to a buyer in Los Angeles when the blaze broke out.
When the company's president, Ryan Van Groningen, heard about the loss of gourds, he said he was concerned only about the driver of the truck.
"Pumpkins can be replaced but human lives can’t," he said.
Halloween enthusiasts who have yet to buy a pumpkin for carving need not worry: Van Groningen said his farm has a scary amount of pumpkins to replace those lost in the fire.
"In the overall scheme of things there is definitely plenty more to go," he said.
Video taken at the scene shows firefighters from the Los Angeles County Fire Department battling the flames amid the charred Halloween gourds.
The pumpkins spilled out of the back of the truck onto the road, blocking the exit. Authorities shut down a lane of the southbound 5 Freeway due to the fire.
It was not immediately clear what caused the blaze, but the firefighters seemed to be enjoying themselves, with one first responder smiling and carrying two pumpkins, one in each hand, away from the scene, video showed.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.