Matthew Badger, the father of the three girls killed Christmas day in a massive fire on Shippan Avenue in Stamford, spoke publicly this week for the first time since Lily, Sarah and Grace Badger died in the blaze along with their maternal grandparents.
In an interview Tuesday on ABC’s Good Morning America, Badger described the week leading up to the fire, in which the girls joined him in his Manhattan apartment to celebrate. Bottega Veneta Men Briefcases
“It was dancing,” he told interviewer Claire Shipman. “We had our own Christmas tree and that photograph was when we had opened our presents they were all very happy.”
Badger, the estranged husband of the girls’ mother, Madonna, has hired a private investigator in the case and filed paperwork in February that laid the foundation for a possible wrongful death suit.
He said he still has plenty of questions about the fire, which started after contractor Michael Borcina ― a friend of Madonna’s who was renovating the sprawling, seaside house ― left a bag of smoldering embers in a mud room behind the house.
“It was very difficult to see,” he told Shipman. “Why did this happen? I mean, it doesn’t make any sense and I’d just seen them the day before.”
In February, Badger filed papers to become administrator of the girls’ estates, a prerequisite before filing a potential wrongful death suit.
A New Haven law firm representing Badger sent the applications to Stamford Probate Court on Feb. 2, asking it to appoint him administrator for the estates of his deceased daughters ― 9-year-old Lily and 7-year-old twins Sarah and Grace.
Badger’s attorney, Richard Emery, emphasized to Hearst Connecticut Media Group last month that they had not decided yet on whether to file a wrongful death suit over the fire.
“It’s important to emphasize that this is not in any shape or form an accusation at this point,” Emery said.
A hard-wired smoke detection system hadn’t been fully installed before the fire, and it’s unclear whether the home had battery-operated smoke detectors. A certificate of occupancy hadn’t been obtained for the second floor of the home, where renovations were focused, officials have said.
“It seems like there are serious questions raised by the fact that this was a fire trap, and there were kids living there,” Emery said in February. “That’s all I could say at this point.”
Borcina was staying at the Shippan Avenue home when the raging fire ripped through the house and killed Madonna Badger’s three daughters and her parents early Christmas morning. Borcina and Madonna Badger escaped Bottega Veneta Bags the fire. The intense heat of the fire pushed firefighters from the house during several rescue attempts.
Police and fire officials described the blaze as accidental and said no criminal charges were anticipated in the case. An initial investigation of the fire revealed that Borcina cleaned out the fireplace shortly after 3 a.m. and placed the embers in a bag and left them inside a newly constructed mudroom or just outside in an enclosed trash bin.