A lot of things in life are replaceable. But anyone who has lived through a fire knows very well that even if things are replaced and rebuilt, they are never quite the same. Two years ago, Sandy Johnston, who operates Elm Shade Farm on Route 143, got up for morning chores as usual. At around 7 a.m. he was in the milking barn and smelled smoke. When he went around to the front of the building, he saw smoke and flames. The fire department got the call at 7:08 a.m. and the first truck was on the scene in under ten minutes, but by then the fire was well underway. Stanstead Battalion Chief Chris Goodsell was the first firefighter on the scene with a truck. When he arrived, he said Johnston was in the process of evacuating as many animals as he could. Johnston managed to save 23 cows and two calves. He lost 15 cows and eight calves in the blaze, as well as a dog and several barn cats. The Record went to Elm Shade Farm the day of the fire. Johnston and some family and friends were standing together in a small shed near the edge of the property watching the firefighters make sure the fire was out. By mid-morning the building was razed. See full story in the Wednesday, Feb. 5 edition of The Record.
By Matthew McCully