Goffstown Rallies Around Family Business Destroyed By Fire

Nov 24, 2017

Rick Lemay, operator of Lemay and Sons, a slaughterhouse ruined by fire in October.
Credit Todd Bookman/NHPR

The burned out shell of Lemay and Sons’ slaughtering facility still sits untouched, the charred studs visible like a rack of overcooked ribs.

On October 6th, a fire ripped through the main production building of this family-run business, where locally raised cows and pigs have been turned into beef and bacon since 1963. No one was hurt in the fire, and no cause has yet been determined.

Rick Lemay, youngest of six and current operator of the business, says since the fire, he’s felt and seen an unexpected outpouring of support from the community.

“We’ve been humbled by the amount of people who have reached out to us with the hopes that this moves along relatively quickly, so we can get back to business,” says Lemay.

That outpouring continues on Saturday with a fundraiser at the Village Trestle, a tavern in Goffstown. There’s live music and a 50/50 raffle, with proceeds going to support the Lemays.

“For me, it is less about the money, as the fact that people are willing to do such a thing,” he says.

Earlier this month, Lemay reopened a small market on the property that was unaffected by the fire. The business has also brought in an 18-wheeler that’s been converted into a small processing center.

Under federal rules, Lemay can’t process meat in this facility that would then be re-sold, limiting his business right now to local hunters and family farmers looking to eat a backyard pig.

Lemey says it’s still unclear when the insurance company will give the go-ahead to remove the charred building and begin work on a new structure.