Entries in Madonna Badger (4)


Dad Eyes Suit in Christmas Fire That Killed Daughters

John Moore/Getty Images(STAMFORD, Conn.) -- The father of three young daughters who were killed in a Christmas Eve fire in Connecticut has signaled his intention to sue over their deaths.

Matthew Badger filed papers last week that would name him as administrator of his daughters’ estates, allowing him to potentially file a wrongful death claim in their names.

Badger’s lawyer, Richard Emery, told ABC News that the filing was “routine” when “someone dies without a will.” By becoming an administrator for his daughters’ estates, Emery said that Badger hopes to create a foundation “in a quest to preserve and enhance the memory of these girls.”

Emery said, however, they were still looking into the incident and “how that place became a firetrap and who was responsible for it.”

While Badger has no intention of filing suit against Madonna Badger, his ex-wife and the mother of his daughters, Emery said that that Badger hadn’t made any further decisions about filing a wrongful death suit.

The three girls were spending Christmas with their mother, their maternal grandparents, and their mother’s boyfriend, Michael Borcina. Borcina was a contractor who was renovating the house.

Borcina took embers from the fireplace because the girls’ feared Santa Clause would get burned. He put the ashes in a bucket in a trash enclosure next to the house, and they somehow ignited the $1.7 million Victorian home in Stamford, Conn.  According to officials, there appeared to be no working fire detectors within the home.

The blaze killed Badger’s three daughters and Madonna Badger’s parents.

“Every level of what could have gone wrong, went wrong,” said Emery. “That needs to be examined carefully.”

In addition to investigating Borcina’s involvement in the fire, Emery said he was very concerned about the Stamford Buildings Department’s decision to demolish the still-smoldering house the day after the fire.

“That certainly is a grave concern for my client,” said Emery. “It seems outrageous and beyond any reasonable protocol to tear down the house within 24 hours of a fire.”

Emery said that since the house was demolished so quickly both insurance investigators and police investigators did not have the time to inspect the building thoroughly.

While Emery said that Badger is focusing on creating a foundation in honor of his daughters, he will still be investigating the different factors surrounding the accident.

“There’s much more than just fire alarms,” said Emery.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mom Who Lost Kids, Parents in Christmas Fire Attempted Suicide: Report

John Moore/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Madonna Badger, the New York woman who lost her three daughters and parents in a tragic Connecticut Christmas fire, attempted suicide last week.

Badger, 47, was reportedly hospitalized after hurting herself in an attempt to kill herself, the New York Daily News reported.

"She is okay...She is out [of the hospital] and somewhere safe," a relative told the paper. "It's just terrible -- nobody could really hold up well under the circumstances."

One person close to Badger would not confirm the report, saying that the matter was very personal and difficult to discuss due to the circumstances, but also declined to deny the report.

The Stamford, Conn., fire in the early hours of Dec. 25 claimed the lives of Badger's parents Lomer and Pauline Johnson, and her three daughters Lily, 10, and 7-year-old twins Grace and Sarah. Badger and her friend Michael Borcina were the only survivors.

The fire was started by fireplace embers that had been cleared out of the fireplace and put in either a mud room attached to the house or a trash enclosure next to it, fire officials said. The embers were reportedly removed because the girls were afraid they would burn Santa Claus as he came down the chimney.

Though firefighters, Badger, Borcina and the grandparents all tried to save the little girls, they were unable to make it through walls of fire that kept pushing them back.

Badger is a well-known fashion advertising executive in New York who has worked on Calvin Klein campaigns. The fire happened at her $1.7 million Victorian home in Stamford that was being renovated by her boyfriend Borcina.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Connecticut Christmas Fire: Fireplace Embers Caused Blaze

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(STAMFORD, Conn.) -- The Christmas morning fire at a Connecticut home that killed three girls and their grandparents was started by fireplace embers that had been cleared out of the fireplace and put in either a mud room attached to the house or a trash enclosure next to the mud room, fire officials said Tuesday.

It is unclear whether there were smoke alarms in the house, which was in the middle of an extensive renovation.

The fire began sometime after 3 a.m. while the occupants of the house were asleep.

"The fire entered the house quickly and spread through the first floor and up," Stamford Chief Fire Marshal Barry Callahan told reporters at a news conference.

The fire quickly engulfed the home and neighbors called 911 at 4:52 a.m. to report the fire. The fire department responded within six minutes, but was unable to rescue the five people trapped in the house.

Lomer Johnson, his wife Pauline Johnson and their three granddaughters, Lily, 10, and 7-year-old twins Grace and Sarah, were killed in the fire. The couple's daughter Madonna Badger, the mother of the girls, survived along with her friend and contractor Michael Borcina.


Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Fire on Christmas Morning Kills Family of Ad Exec in Conn.

WABC-TV New York(STAMFORD, Conn.) -- Three young girls and their grandparents died in a three-alarm house fire in Stamford, Conn., early Christmas morning as the girls’ mother desperately tried to save them, authorities said.

The mother of the girls was fashion consultant and advertising executive Madonna Badger, who created the Mark Wahlberg Calvin Klein underwear ads.

Badger and her boyfriend, a contractor who had been doing work on the five-bedroom house, managed to escape from the first floor. Badger climbed onto the roof, desperately trying to break a bedroom window, but the flames had spread too quickly, Stamford Police Sgt. Paul Guzda told ABC News.

Two of the girls were 7-year-old twins, and their older sister was 10 years old, according to police.

Both Badger and her boyfriend were hospitalized with burn injuries.

Relatives said Badger had been recently divorced and moved from New York City to the affluent suburb of Stamford and renovated a $1.7 million Victorian home for her family.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I tell you — to get that call in the early morning hours, to hear that there’s a fatal fire, that’s bad enough. But then when you hear it on Christmas morning, that three little children like this perished in a fire … it’s beyond words,” Guzda said.

“There probably has not been a worse Christmas Day in the city of Stamford,” said Mayor Michael Pavia.

Officials said the fire started at about 5 a.m. and that smoke was still present at the scene as firefighters surveyed the area at 9:30 a.m.

A neighbor said he woke up to the sound of screaming, only to see the house engulfed in flames, ABC News New York station WABC-TV reported.

“It was a male voice, and it was just, ‘help, help me,’” neighbor Charles Mangano said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. The damage was so extensive that the house had to be leveled.

“It will be a number of days before we actually find out how this occurred and what happened,” said Stamford Fire Chief Antonio Conte.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio