In the early morning hours of Dec. 29, a passerby reported a fully involved structure at the Blood Farm butchery and smoke house in West Groton.
Fire units were on scene within minutes, but the aged 1 1/2-story concrete block structure could not be saved.
The fire quickly turned into a four-alarm blaze with mutual aid being called in from a half-dozen surrounding towns.
The blaze took more than four hours to get under control and crews were hampered by subfreezing temperatures.
Blood Farm was established in the 1700s and had been run by five successive generations of the Blood family.
While the investigation is not yet conclusive, the fire is believed to have begun in a smoker within the building.