AUBURN – While a chicken coop fire on Garfield Road was still being investigated Friday, Misfits Rehab was taking in donations and planning to rebuild what was lost in the Thursday night blaze. 

By dinnertime Friday, nearly $2,000 in donations had come to the animal rehab business and more fundraisers were being created. 

The Thursday night fire at 850 Garfield Road killed nine chickens and burned to the ground a small building that was often used to help reacclimate injured animals to the outdoors. 

Auburn fire investigators spent part of the day at the business searching for the cause of the 5 p.m. blaze. Fire officials said Friday night it appeared that the fire started within the chicken coop itself, but the exact cause was still being investigated. 

A Misfits Rehab volunteer said a heating pad had been used inside the coop to help keep the chickens warm in cold weather. 

Part of a house was damaged by the flames, but fire officials said the damage was limited to the attic area. The house was still habitable and nobody living there was hurt in the blaze. 

None of the other animals were injured, either. At the time of the fire, Misfits Rehab was home to three opossums, a fox, a beaver, a raccoon, a porcupine and 10 bats. 

“Those are actually low numbers,” said Amy Gagnon, a volunteer with Misfits Rehab. 

Over the course of 2019, the business, operated by wildlife rehabilitator Jennifer Marchigiani, took care of 332 animals in all, Gagnon said. That included 32 skunks that needed help before being released to the wild. 

The building that burned was constructed by volunteers over the summer. Misfits Rehab plans to rebuild the structure that burned, although Marchigian was still assessing the matter Friday night. 

“We’re taking it one step at a time,” Gagnon said. “We’re all coming together to help her with the animals and stuff so she can kind of regroup.” 

Donations can be made through the Misfits Rehab Facebook page or through a new Facebook page titled: “Help for the Marchigiani family & Misfits Rehab.” 

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