Investigation underway into Holliston barn fire that killed nearly 50 animals

The State Fire Marshal's Office estimates 47 animals died in a barn fire in Holliston.

The fire broke out around 6 a.m. Sunday at 755 Concord Street.

"There were roughly 60 animals that were in this barn. We have roughly a dozen. There may still be some unaccounted for," said Mike DeFina, Animal Rescue League.

MORE: Farm animals die in early morning barn fire in Holliston

Three piglets are undergoing treatment at the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. Staff there tells Boston 25 News: "At this time, we are pleased to share that they are responding to treatment."

Some of the birds, and a few rabbits, ended up at the Animal Rescue League in Dedham.

"We gave them their proper shelter, food, water. This morning our shelter veterinary staff will give them physical examinations," said DeFina.

A source tells Boston 25 News that a Rebecca Brodie of Holliston was renting the barn. We traced that name to 70 Lakeshore Drive in Holliston, which is the same address we found on an arrest warrant out of Connecticut. That warrant, intended for a Rebecca Brodie living at 70 Lakeshore Drive, was issued by CT authorities in December. The supervisor of the animal control unit at the Connecticut Department of Agriculture says they have had issues with Brodie. The warrant charges Brodie with nine counts of animal cruelty, with possible penalties of $9,000 and/or nine years imprisonment.

Authorities observed the alleged animal cruelty last August in a Connecticut barn. One report states goats had no hay and appeared very emaciated. The four kid goats were acting depressed, sick and weak, according to the warrant.

Boston 25 News tried to reach Brodie, with no luck.

Neighbors said farm animals were an issue in the area last summer. As the warrant from CT states, they complained to the Holliston Board of Health at the time about livestock running loose. The board of health ordered Brodie to remove the animals in seven days, and she apparently did.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.