STAMFORD, Conn. — As officials wait until 5 p.m. Tuesday to release details on what caused the Christmas Day fire on Shippan Avenue, sources told the New York Daily News that embers from a Yule log are most likely to blame.
The article also said Madonna Badger, the homeowner, and boyfriend Michael Borcina were up until about 3 a.m., making last-minute Christmas preparations before loading the embers into a container and putting them in the foyer. A source also told The Daily Stamford that improper disposal of ashes is what likely caused the early-morning blaze.
The house would not have been demolished unless investigators already had a good idea of what had caused the fire, the source said. From pictures, it looked like the fire started from inside the large home in Stamford's Shippan neighborhood, the source said.
Sources also told the New York-based tabloid that Badger, Borcina and her father, Lomer Johnson, made their way to the roof in an attempt to save the other four people in the house — Badger's mother and her three daughters. Johnson was close to saving one of Badger’s daughters when he collapsed from carbon monoxide poisoning, the article said. The New York Times also reported that Johnson was trying to save one of the girls just before he died.
Johnson, his wife Pauline, and all three of Badger’s daughters, Lilly, 10, and twins, Sarah and Grace, 7, died in the blaze. Badger and Borcina were forced from the house by emergency responders and taken to Stamford Hospital, the Daily News said. Badger has since been released, and Borcina remains in stable condition, the nursing supervisor at the hospital said.
Charles Mangano, who lives nearby, went outside when he saw the fire. As Badger was being led away, he heard her say, “My whole life is in there."