Tragic Christmas Fire in Connecticut Will Break Your Heart


A massive fire consumed a home in Stamford, Connecticut early Christmas morning, killing five members of one family, including three children. It is a sickening tragedy, the kind no one ever wants to hear about, especially on a day that is supposed to be so special and full of love. 

The fire broke out early Christmas morning in the $1.75 million home overlooking Long Island Sound. Only one woman -- Advertising executive Madonna Badger and her contractor -- were able to escape the blaze. Inside, Badger's parents and her three children perished. Badger, 47, managed to get out, and screamed for help. By the time the fire department made it, the fire was too intense for them to even attempt to rescue her parents and children, Lily, 10, and Grace and Sarah, 7.

There is no doubt that many will focus on the fact that Badger did not manage to save her children, but before they do so, they may want to reconsider.

There are so many reasons it could have been impossible for her to rescue the children. If the house was really engulfed the way it was described, she would have had to run into flames to get them and while most of us will say, "we would do so in a heartbeat!" It is so much easier to say such things than to live them. Some say Badger did, in fact, try to climb on the roof and smash the windows to try to get to her children, but was stopped by the flames.

We have no idea why Badger was unable to get to her children and as parents, we should not be judging. There but for fortune, this could be any one of us dealing with an unimaginable tragedy.

In fact as parents, it is impossible to even read the details without being blinded by tears. These children went to bed on Christmas Eve likely expecting to wake up surrounded by love and happiness (and presents). They were probably joyful and excited. The youngest two may even still have believed that Santa would visit them overnight.

Badger's parents Lomer and Pauline Johnson made the story even more tragic given today (December 26) was their 49th wedding anniversary and Lomer had been working as the Saks "Santa" for the past few years. His passion for Christmas and the joy of children just break your heart when one considers how he died.

There is no way to make sense of a tragedy like this and what Badger is going through is beyond anything any parent can comprehend. So before anyone sits in judgement or wonders how she escaped while everyone she loved perished, consider that none of us have any idea what this is like and then take a moment to be grateful for that.

My heart is broken for this family.

Does this break your heart, too?

Image via AndersLindgren/Flickr 

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Ms.Pu... Ms.PuNkrOckStar

Seems like you wrote the article wanting to create a debate about it. Or why did you make it more about the judging rather than the tragic story it is. Anyway i hope she gets help because she will need it. Another thing if its a house worth more than 1mill. then its probably a really big house and that would explain her not getting there on time? I dont know i just cant judge someone that los the people she loved all in Christmas and in the most terrible way possible.

jands... jandshyne

I would never judge anyone for not being able to get in to a fire.  We buy smoke detectors, we put stickers on our kid's window, we put fire escape plans up, and fire extinguishers up, but until you've lived a fire you don't know that NONE of that will work in a fire like this.  That anyone got out is a miracle.  A house like this is probably full of old, veneered wood which would have fed the fire.  Fire is a living thing and it destroys lives.  Having lost everything BUT my family (thank God no one was home) in a fire, including our animals, I can tell you that fire and flood are the two things beyond your control.  They destroy what they want and they don't care what precautions you take.  Also?  In studies something like 90% of kids slept through plain smoke detectors.  They now make recordable ones you can shout in to with your voice because kids will respond to their parent's voice.  It dropped the number to something like 50%.  (I didn't fact check that, so those numbers could be high or low, just going by memory from an old article)

Stacey. Stacey.

This is a terrible, terrible tragedy and I hope this woman gets the support she needs. May God have mercy on this family.

Melis... Melissa042807

Bottom line: We never know what we would do until we're in a situation. 

There are a lot of unanswered questions right now, but no matter what this is terribly, terribly tragic. Likely something the mother and father (who wasn't home at the time) will never get over. I cannot imagine being in their shoes. 

nonmember avatar me

Some people have made some disgusting comments on other websites about this story and it makes me sick. She lost her whole family. Ans anyone who would make rude comments without knowing the whole story, is in my opinion, a sick and cold individual. People can be so heartless, and yet people wonder why the world has so many problems.

ashja ashja

If you talk to any firefighter, they will tell you that the feeling of being burned or breathing in that scalding air forces people, beyond their control, out of the fire rather than into it. The part of your brain that takes over is the less-evolved, more intstincive, animalistic portion that reacts purely out of pain and fear. You are not, in that moment, in control of your actions. Anone who says they would not leave until they found their children has likely never been through it themselves. It is the same reason people reveal things under torture, the intense pain bypasses the logical and emotional centers of the brain. you DO NOT know what you would do in a similar situation.

stace... stacey541

I really hope that there were working smoke detectors in the house-that was she doesn't have that added to what she will live with the rest of her life.

lucky... luckygirlyo

Not one person who has a soul should feel anything but anguish. I feel sick for this woman.

wiers... wiersma98

This is horribly HORRIBLY tragic -- that these little girls (and their grandparents) lost their lives.

But the question(s) I would have:   why was the "contractor" there in the middle of the night?   And why was her Husband (and father of the children) driven back to their home from New York after he got the news (i.e. he wasn't with his family on CHRISTMAS).


nonmember avatar Jan

This is heartbreaking and I don't care why the contractor was there. Her husband wasn't there because they were separated, as the article plainly states.
The firemen, the Fire Chief, and the Mayor were all weeping because THEY couldn't get in to save anyone. When the firefighters know it's a lost cause, it's a lost cause.
Nobody can or should dare blame this woman - she has lost everything. May God Bless her and give her strength in this terrible time.

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