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St. Johns County farm loses two barns in one week

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Updated: 5/22/2013 3:47 pm
HASTINGS, Fla. -- Two barns belonging to one farmer were destroyed in just one week, one by mother nature and the other by a massive fire.

Both resulted in a big loss for Middleton Farms.

Saturday morning, around 3 a.m. a fire ripped through a potato warehouse on East St. Johns Road in Hastings.

The flames had fire crews from St. Johns and Putnam counties working for four hours.

John Carter, who has worked at Middleton Farms for about 20 years, says the loss has been devastating for more than 20 employees who now have no place to report to work.

"This was hard for all of us because this is our living," said Carter.

One week ago, another Middleton Farms potato warehouse in Elkton was hit by a tornado. The barn was left mangled and the potato crops were ruined.

"A lot of our potatoes go through the wash house, this was one of the wash houses and the one in Elkton was a wash house," said Carter.

Middleton Farms now has no barns left to wash and bag potatoes for sale. According to Carter, they've had no choice but to chip them instead.

Carter says he hopes the corn crop will be able to produce enough revenue to pull them through the season.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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