New Hampshire Barn Fire Kills Several Animals

Several animals were killed in an early-morning fire Friday that destroyed a barn in Lyndeborough.

Firefighters said that high winds created problems as they tried to contain the fire on Center Road, which spread to a connected house and across the road. They said their main concern was saving the house.

"I woke up to a phone ringing, and when I really came to, there was just a roar," homeowner David Schmechel said. "It sounded like a locomotive."

Schmechel said that his bedroom wall was lit up by the fire from the barn next door. He said that he and his wife got their two daughters out of the house, but he was especially concerned about his 7-year-old.

"She was running around frantic, and I was worried that if we got encumbered by smoke or anything happened and she got lost somewhere in the house, we would lose her," Schmechel said.

The family escaped without injury, but Schmechel went back into the house to get some of his children's dolls.

The fire quickly went to three alarms.

"We were very concerned because approaching units had seen the column of smoke, so we knew that we had a pretty well involved structure at this time, so we got as much manpower, as much water on the road as possible," Chief Rick McQuade said.

Firefighters were unable to save the barn and some of animals inside. A neighbor's horse, a flock of chickens, 18 rare pigs and some sheep were killed.

"We lost five sheep," Schmechel said. "They were our pet sheep. They were like dogs. They followed our children around."

The house was severely damaged.

"Sometimes I know it's going to be OK, and some moments, I feel like I'm not going to get through the next one," Schmechel said.

The cause of the fire was under investigation, but officials said it did not appear to be suspicious.

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