A Year Later, Stamford Christmas Fire Site Still Empty

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The property where the Christmas Day fire took place in Stamford last year remains fenced off to keep people out. Photo Credit: Anthony Buzzeo

STAMFORD, Conn. — The scene of 2011’s biggest tragedy in Stamford, 2267 Shippan Ave., where a Christmas morning fire took the lives of three girls and their grandparents, remains vacant a year later.

The lot remains fenced off from the public with signs warning people not to go there with phrases like, “Hard Hats Needed,” and “Demolition Area.” However, the fence was unsuccessful in stopping a tree that stood in front of it and was uprooted during Hurricane Sandy from landing on the lot.

The city’s public records say the lot still is owned by Madonna Badger, who first bought the home Dec. 7, 2010 for $1.75 million from William H. Foster III and Marilyn S. Foster.

Badger and boyfriend Michael Borcina were the only survivors of the fire, with her daughters, Lily, Sarah, and Grace, and her parents, Lomer and Pauline Johnson, dying in the blaze. Investigators said the fire started after Borcina placed embers from the fireplace in the rear of the house.

The home owner has some doubts about the fire, and has issued a notice of claim against the city and several of its officials.

Badger recently told NBC’s “Today” show she has been living in Arkansas with friends and receiving help at the Psychiatric Research Institute at the University of Arkansas to deal with the tragedy and start healing.
She also said she will be in Thailand on Christmas delivering toys to orphans.

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