A Freeport man is facing animal fighting charges after 13 pit bulls were found dead in a garage that went up in flames, authorities said.
Anthony Reddick, 53, was arrested Saturday and charged with 18 felony and misdemeanor charges, according to the Nassau County district attorney's office.
Reddick is a tenant at the 101 Hillside Ave. home where the fire on Friday afternoon burned down a detached one-car garage, authorities said.
Three pit bulls were found alive on the premises, but 13 others were found dead after the fire was put out, said Shams Tarek, a spokesman for District Attorney Kathleen Rice.
Reddick, accused of breeding and training the dogs for fighting purposes, is charged as the dogs' owner with 16 felony and two misdemeanor animal fighting counts, Tarek said.
The cause of the fire hasn't been determined, but it "does not appear suspicious, and looks like it might be electrical in nature," said Raymond Maguire, executive director of the Freeport Fire Department.
Maguire said about 100 firefighters responded to the scene in northeast Freeport near Babylon Turnpike and Coleman Country Day Camp.
Reddick fled Friday after the fire broke out, Tarek said.
Tarek said investigators found the dead pit bulls and dogfighting equipment, including a treadmill with animal restraint attachments, after executing a search warrant.
Reddick is scheduled to be arraigned Sunday at First District Court in Hempstead.
It wasn't clear Saturday if Reddick, who is in custody, had an attorney or how he was apprehended.
The rescued pit bulls were taken to a local shelter.