This article has been corrected to reflect the number of birds that survived the fire.
HOPKINTON, R.I. (WPRI) ─ The fire that tore through a Hopkinton bird sanctuary earlier this week was sparked by a heating unit inside the building, according to State Fire Marshal Timothy McLaughlin.
McLaughlin declared the cause of the fire at Foster Parrots and the New England Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary accidental.
The fire killed nearly 100 of the 400 exotic birds that lived there. The sanctuary said while a third of their building was destroyed, they’ll ultimately need to rebuild the entire facility.
“We lost the lives of many of our beloved animals, who each had beautiful and unique personalities, and who were loved dearly by our staff and volunteers,” the sanctuary said.
All of the surviving birds are “safe and stable” and have been relocated to parts of the facility that remain intact, according to the sanctuary.
The sanctuary expressed gratitude for those who have reached out to offer support, including other local rescue facilities.
“Thank you all for the outpouring of love and support you have shown us in our darkest hour,” the sanctuary said. “We are grieving immensely, and could not get through this without the help of our community and our volunteers.”