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Christmas Fire Debris May Have Been Destroyed Too Soon, Court Records Say

Debris from a house fire that killed five people on Christmas Day in 2011 may have been destroyed too quickly to allow further investigation, fire officials acknowledged in court depositions, according to the Hartford Courant.
Debris from a house fire that killed five people on Christmas Day in 2011 may have been destroyed too quickly to allow further investigation, fire officials acknowledged in court depositions, according to the Hartford Courant. Photo Credit: Daily Voice File

STAMFORD, Conn. -- Court records show that some Stamford fire officials believe a house that caught fire on Christmas Day in 2011 was demolished too soon, thus preventing a full investigation into the deadly blaze, according to the Hartford Courant.

The home caught fire in the early morning hours of Christmas Day , killing five people, including three young children. The children's mother, Madonna Badger, as well as her then-boyfriend Michael Borcina both escaped, but the three Badger girls -- 10-year-old Lilly and 7-year-old twins Sarah and Grace -- died along with Badger's parents, Lomer and Pauline Johnson.

After an investigation, Stamford fire officials concluded that the fire was caused by fireplace embers that were improperly disposed of. However, in 2012 the girls' father Matthew Badger filed a lawsuit against the city , claiming among other things that officials demolished the house too quickly after the tragic incident.

The Hartford Courant reports that depositions from Matthew Badger's lawsuit against the city reveal that two fire marshals believe that the demolition of the home after the fire made further investigation impossible. The house was demolished two days after the fire and the debris was taken away and destroyed two days later, according to the Hartford Courant.

One fire marshal said he agreed that the debris should not have been destroyed until it was made available to the Badgers, and another fire marshal said he was surprised by how quickly the how was demolished, the Hartford Courant reported.

Click here to read the Hartford Courant story.

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