Even though it happened well over a year ago, none of us will ever forget the Christmas Day house fire that took the lives of three beautiful children and their grandparents in Stamford, Connecticut. It was one of those stories that hit way too close to home for most of us, and we couldn't help but share in the grief of a woman who lost everyone dear to her in the blink of an eye.
And because she believes her mansion was torn down too quickly after the fire, Madonna Badger is suing the town. She believes evidence may have been destroyed and that the town may have been trying to cover up building mistakes and permit violations, which is why they were in such a rush to demolish it.
And the claims of the lawsuit don't stop there. It also states that officials knew there were "numerous types of salvageable scrap metal such as wiring, copper, steel beams, and the family's personal silver and jewelry" in the home -- meaning they wanted to profit from it.
Madonna is seeking "unspecified damages" in addition to a jury trial with the suit.
And even though the cause of the fire was ruled as accidental, due to ashes from the fireplace that were placed in a bag inside a garbage bin in the home, it's hard not to wonder if there were more factors involved that made the house unsafe.
It doesn't matter where we live or how much we think we know about our homes -- unless we build them with our own two hands, it's hard to know exactly what kind of building materials are used during construction. As someone who has lived in two brand new homes in the past seven years, it's tough not to wonder how sturdy and safe they've been.
It's no secret that builders throw up new homes a heck of a lot faster than they did 40 or 50 years ago, and it just seems like speeding things up is a recipe for disaster. The house I live in now was done by a private builder who takes a lot of pride in his work, but the home I lived in before my son was born was done by a mass builder, in one of those cookie-cutter developments where most of the homes look the same. And even though I've never really worried about their safety up until this point, accidents do happen, as is evident from what happened to Madonna Badger.
If nothing else, every time I think about her, I'm reminded to take the proper precautions to ensure a fire doesn't happen in my own home. But I guess you never really can know for sure if you're doing enough.
Do you ever worry about how well-built your home is?
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I create a special savings account
I put a little away at a time
I cut corners until I can afford it
Save? Who has money to save?
I plan to put it on my credit card and love the benefits of the reward program