Christmas Fire Story Has Heartbreaking Link to Santa Tradition

The tragic fire in Connecticut on Christmas morning that killed three children and their grandparents is one of the most horrific and sad news stories in history. But it gets worse. The reason those embers were taken out of the fireplace was for Santa. The children wanted to keep him safe and their mom probably wanted to help them keep believing.

The details of the story are truly sick in every way. The grandfather -- Lomer Johnson -- made a living playing Santa in New York City. The mother -- advertising executive Madonna Badger -- climbed onto the roof in an attempt to save her children, but was unable to get to them. Three children perished. Lily, 10, and Grace and Sarah, 7, were all in the house when the fire started and were unable to get out.

Their grandfather suffered blunt force trauma to the head after he climbed out the window in an attempt to rescue one of his young granddaughters. And the reason the whole fire started was because they wanted to protect Santa.


This story is heartbreaking in every way and there is a mother out there who now has no children. It's all because she wanted to help her children experience the magic of Christmas.

Apparently those same embers were placed in a bucket and somehow sparked the deadly fire. There are also hints that, because of the renovation, there were no working smoke detectors, but that is not confirmed in any way. Still, if it were true, it might explain why the family was alerted too late to be able to save themselves.

As a mom, it's hard to even begin to imagine what Badger is going through. On a night she expected to wake up to pure joy and elation, she woke up to mayhem and tragedy. Some stories just get under your skin. This is one of them. It's hard to picture a sadder thought than three happy girls who went to bed dreaming of Santa Claus and how they would keep him safe and then never woke up.

Somehow this new information makes it all the more heartbreaking. The memorial services for the girls is Thursday in Connecticut. All of our hearts go out to the family. It's hard to imagine anything sadder.

Does this make you even more sad?


Image via Ross Elliott/Flickr

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