Has anyone else been following this tragic story, Christmas morning? Boyfriend carelessly sweeps up fireplace embers into a bag, places bag in a mudroom, house goes up in flames. Her parents are killed, her three daughters killed, her home and life destroyed. And the boyfriend was a contractor, working on her home, and neglected to have the smoke detectors wired up. What the hell could he have been thinking?
Unreal. I block news out during the holiday season and this is the first I have read about this.
Can you imagine being that boyfriend? Can you imagine that guilt?
Her poor father died after falling of the roof (while trying to save one of the grandaughters)
This is beyond.
Remember that Christmas tale from California 2-3 years ago when the ex husband went psycho, dressed as Santa, went to his ex's Christmas party, killed her and her parents, sisters, brothers, set the house on fire with racing fuel, then killed himself? Bruce PArdo was his name..
Sometimes hell is on earth.
This is why you shouldn't date the help.
This was (a) arson, (b) the act of a person who doesn't have the intelligence level to be a grocery bagger, let alone have a contracting license.
Yeah # 3, I agree, that I think is what is hitting me, the sheer stupidity of it ( and the boyfriend)
She can't possibly stay with him after what he did. He should be publicly stoned and flogged. What a dumb asshole.
Wasn't she married?
Erm, Madonna Badger is fully to blame for this tragic fiasco. They were living in a house that for close to/over a year without it being certified for occupancy. She bears full responsibility for the death of her children and parents.
I mean, c'mon. No fire alarms? Over the holidays? With a fireplace? Stupid is as stupid does. Whatever brains she used in fashion clearly did not equip her for life.
Grief porn is right...this story was all over the news all day on Christmas. And yes, it doesn't add up: no smoke detectors, putting embers in a separate room in a container (as opposed to putting WATER on them or taking them outside in a metal trash can), and she & the BF sleeping on a lower floor with the parents and kids on an upper floor.
Even if it wasn't an intentional act, there had to be some subconscious stuff going on there.
Don't forget the influence of alcohol. I wonder if they even test these people when something like this happens?
I hope after all the prayers 'n teddy bears, they properly investigate this.
And the fact that she allowed her family to stay in a structure that was not fit to be inhabited! Even before the fire, the lack of fire alarms, etc., she was risking their lives. What a maroon.
r11: the thing with the embers is mind-numbing. Just pour a few cups of water over them, asshole!
As soon as I read about it I thought of alcohol -- middle of the night, Christmas Eve . . . .
They tore down the house awfully quickly. I wonder if the father of the girls has a wrongful death claim against the city. It may be that a permit to occupy was granted in the absence of a full inspection. Also, the boyfriend is taking full blame for mishandling the ashes but it's possible that he was acting on her orders. If I were in his shoes I wouldn't want to publicly try to shift the blame on the mother even if she had a hand in it.
BTW, the article has a ridiculous quote, "That poor woman lost her entire family in one fowl swoop." Fowl swoop? Are all journalists today illiterate?
Seems to me that the father of the girls will have a wrongful death claim against the contractor/boyfriend, also against the city. Sad, the whole way around. The poor mother, how could anyone recover from this?
What exactly was her role with the Marky Mark Calvin Klein ads?
Testing? Not the state or the doctors. You don't want to go down that road.
In terms of the state, that gets into search and seizure issues with constitutional protections, so therefore a search warrant for blood tests would be required. The time factor alone makes testing ineffective in this situation.
Testing when you are stopped for driving under the influence is a whole different issue. You agree to waive certain rights when you apply for the privilege of driving.
The contractor ended up hospitalized, I think the mother also, but medical people aren't going to do tests absent a medical reason.
There are doctor-patient confidentiality issues, plus enormous liability on the hospital's part if the test injured someone who didn't need to be tested to be treated.
There are public policy issues at work, also. You want people who need medical care to get to a hospital. You don't want them to hesitate because they are afraid doctors are going to get them in trouble by running drug and alcohol tests.
This is a certainty, though. The father and the grandfather's estate, meaning their lawyers, are going to be all over the hospital records looking to see if either of those two showed signs of intoxication, but they won't find anything.
The two people obviously have made statements about what happened, and it is possible those can be used, depending.
This is going to be a civil litigation nightmare, but testing won't come into it.
R17, "the poor mother"? SHE'S THE ONE WHO CAUSED THIS FUCKING DISASTER!
R20, if you are without compassion for a person whose lapse in judgement killed her parents and all her children before her very eyes, I can only hope you never make another mistake of any kind as long as you live.
The girls father would be perfectly justified if he decided to murder the boyfriend.
In his feelings, R22, but not in his actions if he did. Perhaps it will occur to him that leaving his wife and children in the custody of another man played a role in the tragedy.
[quote]I hope after all the prayers 'n teddy bears, they properly investigate this.
Just so you know, R12, I will probably be using a form of this in the future.
Well if it wasn't intentional, then the contractor was drunk off his ass.
Of course it wasn't intentional.
r16: Calling "Oh, Dear.".
Why the hell would it be intentional, R25? Who gains what from killing five people?
People who never heat with wood (and even some people who do) can be fooled by ashes and embers that appear to be extinguished. If they used the fireplace once a year, it's a somewhat logical mistake to think that it would be safer to clean out the ashes rather than leave them be.
Maybe it will occur to him, but it shouldn't.
He had nothing to do with this tragedy.
Either the mother and he shared custody and she had them for holidays, or she had sole custody and had them all the time.
Where's the evidence that the father made some mistake in letting the mother have the children, apparently fulfilling his legal and moral obligations?
Obviously he will feel terrible. How can he not blame himself? But he really shouldn't have to carry that load.
I didn't mean to blame the father, R29. I only meant that he will probably kick himself at least a little to think that he chose (for whatever reason) to live separately from his children who subsequently died while in the care of another man.
I had a friend a man who lost his ex-wife and two young daughters in an apartment fire where the ex-wife's new boyfriend was the only person to make it out alive. Although my friend had nothing to do with the fire, he spent the rest of his life feeling that he had failed his girls somehow. Survivors' guilt doesn't obey logic.
I get your meaning and actually it sort of came through in your post
How were the badgers involved?
This is total grief porn but I has a great aunt who died in Connecticut in a somewhat similar fire. Her husband was drunk and fell asleep with a lit cigarette, which eventually caught something on fire around 2AM. He was on the first floor and got out (the family has never elaborated on his actions that night, but it seemed like he essentially bolted), but the three children and my aunt were on the second and third floors. My aunt managed to get one of her daughters out onto a roof and far away from the flames that she was able to be rescued. She and her other daughter were found right near the bedroom window, collapsed from smoke inhalation. The teenage son, who slept on the third floor, was found at the bottom of the third floor stairwell.
They died well before I was born but the story has made me supremely paranoid of fire, and the Badger story resonates with me as a result. I think that the mother and the boyfriend made a stupid mistake but that by no means makes it right that five beloved family members should be killed as a result of that error.
Madonna Badger REALLY didn't give a shit.
Madonna Badger don't care. Oooo, look at contractor boyfriend put hot ashes in a paper bag. Ahhhhh, flames. Grandpa go night night.
The contractor has gay face.
R21, this might shock you, but I have ZERO compassion for a dumb ass like Madonna Badger. If she were acting purely as an individual without responsibility for other people's lives and decided to do the things she did because of some stupid romantic insecurities, well, fine. It's her funeral.
To allow YOUR PARENTS and YOUR TWO CHILDREN to reside in structure that was knowingly uncertified for occupancy is just FUCKING STUPID, even before you completely ignore every fire regulation known to man. She has to live with her stupidity, not me.
I think you're being offensive when you suggest that I could be that fucking stupid. Some of us are very much aware of what it means to take responsibility for other people's lives, what that suggests and the consequences therein. So don't even start suggesting that we all have the capacity for this kind of stupidity. We don't. Some of us have brains.
My heart broke for everyone involved in this tragedy when I first heard about it UNTIL I read an interview with the contractor boyfriend from his hospital bed on the next day saying he and Madonna were strong and all would be ok. OK!!? Did I misunderstand or did not her whole family horrifically die in an inferno not 24 hours before?? Methinks there is something rotten in the state of CT. I hope the ex-husband uses every resource he has to investigate this. I hope this isn't true, but on some level I'm reminded of that aging wealthy Long Island heiress who had an affair with her hot contractor and had him kill her husband. What is it with middle-aged rich women and their contractors? Let's also remember that Madonna was responsible for that Calvin Klein campaign 20 years ago with that unrepentant thug, Marky Mark, so her moral compass is already suspect. And factoring in the conscious decision to not have any fire safety precautions working in the renovated house smells to high heaven. Sorry if this offends, but this tragedy demands an accounting from every possible angle.
I bet Guy Ritchie is having a great laugh over all this.
I can't understand why Madonna would be dating the hired help. How can he think about rebuilding whenthe poor babies do not have a final resting place. My deepest condolences go out to the bio dad.
Stupid, stupid, stupid people. That's what caused this tragedy. It did NOT have to happen.
It's especially heartbreaking to see pictures of the grandfather in his Santa Claus suit (he was Santa at Saks before getting killed) with the little girls.
And what about that family of seven that was found shot to death, apparently after opening their Christmas gifts? Apparently a family member offed them all and then himself...on Christmas.
So many tragedies during this holiday season.
R35... wow. just wow.
you can sit next to me on the flight to hell.
Very, very suspicious.
Count the name dropping references in this exclusive to the Hollywood Reporter by her "friend".
Spare me the 'Wows", R42. This is going to shape up to be a criminal investigation. Trust mother, kiddies.
I'm hardly rich or famous. And, I've worked with a lot of contractors over the years.
A couple of them are competent, normal human beings.
Even so, I certainly would NOT date them. And, again, I'm nothing special.
Most of them are batshit crazy, trashy thugs who are "contractors" so they have an excuse to only work when they feel like it, which is rarely.
What's up with these well-to-do women dating them?
[quote]Let's also remember that Madonna was responsible for that Calvin Klein campaign 20 years ago with that unrepentant thug, Marky Mark, so her moral compass is already suspect.
R38, the Marky Mark/Calvin Klein campaign isn't notable for its lack of morality but rather more significant evidence of Madonna Badger's lack of intelligence. Putting Marky Mark in an underwear campaign 20 years ago wasn't exactly brain surgery and if your claim to fame in fashion was 20 years ago and had nothing to do with the miniskirt, you're over. I'm not impressed with this Badger woman.
At the risk of inciting more bashing about this tragedy(specifically towards myself), I nevertheless feel compelled to offer some thoughts for your consideration.
Let me begin by saying I don't know anyone in this family, and have no particular ax to grind.
1) There are over 11,000 fires per year in this country caused by fireplaces and the disposal of fireplace ash. This has been stated in numerous articles about this fire and what I learned is how embers can be cool to the touch but still be smoldering. Was it unwise to dispose of ashes so soon after burning, and to do so in or near the house? Certainly - but this apparently happens more frequently that I would have thought.
2) That someone doesn't have a "license" to operate in a location means that they haven't registered and paid business tax. It doesn't mean that the person is somehow deficient in their trade, and the more egregious failure would have been if permits hadn't been pulled and inspections not made. In this case, permits were issued and inspections done although the final inspection hadn't been completed. That could have been reasonable if significant work, or a punch list hadn't been completed since the last inspection in July. I had a permit to finish a basement for seven years before it was completed, and in that time, I routinely used my basement to do laundry, etc.
3) That the actual construction method used when the house was built in 1895 probably contributed to how the fire spread. Balloon construction was commonly used at that time which involved using vertical studs spanning floors (as a way to minimize cost) without having fire stops in between floors. The effect in a fire is it creates a flue between studs which allows the fire to rapidly spread upward unimpeded.
4) The location of the house may have also contributed to how quickly it burned. Situated directly across the street from Long Island Sound, any wind off the water would have fueled the fire to an incredible rate of speed.
5) Unlike fires depicted on TV where there is lots of fire, but little smoke, in a real fire visibility is non-existent and disorienting, and the temperature difference from floor to standing height is often 600 degrees. The best way to get out is to crawl on the floor, because standing and breathing 600 degree smoke will kill you instantly.
6) By all accounts, the two survivors were trying to find and get the others out, and had to be subdued by firefighters so they wouldn't return to the house. At the point the 911 call was made at 4:52 am, the house was already engulfed in flame, and even firefighters who arrived 7 minutes later, probably clothed and equipped for the situation were beaten back by the flames.
From what I can determine, the two survivors were on the second floor at the front of the house, while the others were on floor 2 and 3 at the back of the house where the fire was worst. Without understanding what passages were engulfed or blocked, it seem unfair to speculate what someone should have done.
By all accounts, Madonna Badger was a loving attentive mother, and is well-regarded in an industry known for its drama and cut-throat tactics. Personally I come down on the side of Matthew 7:1-2 - and feel that whatever carelessness or stupity was in evidence on that night, this woman has already paid a terrible price.
Additionally, the lack of smoke detectors obviously played a role to which I readily concede; however, I would guess that people are not quite as serious about them as they should be - until something like this happens.
And I would bet that Madonna Badger would give up everything she has and has accomplished in her life in exchange for having her parents and children back.
Why is there a story in the Hollywood Reporter about this fire? That's ridiculous.
This is going to shape up to be a criminal investigation.
No it won't, Miss Marple. The house has been pulled down, the woman has lost her parents and children. Case closed. A fine may be issued regarding fire alarms or COs, but that's it. Nobody will seriously believe that the man deliberatley placed smoldering embers near the back door, planning a house fire in which his gf's parents and children would be killed and where he and his gf may have been killed.
The woman has suffered enough. The contractor will never get another job.
couldn't he just leave the fucking embers IN The fireplace? what was the point of sweeping them up in a bag? don't get it at all.
There's more here than just a contractor/client relationship, and that's why things went south.
In an old, old story, Madonna (who is married) bought this house and hired a contractor to do the renovations 2 years ago. She subsequently started an affair with the contractor and separated from her husband. Which is why the contractor was there that night, and according to reports came running from the burning house in just a t-shirt and boxers.....
So Madonna was too busy getting fucked to care about the substandard fire detection system or the incorrect disposition of the ashes that night.
Shades of Ted Ammon and Generosa...
Honey Badger, Madonna's sister
Anyone else keep seeing this thread and think it's about Madonna not liking the nasty ass Honey Badger?
I wouldn't be talking about other people's moral compasses, R38. You seem determined to find a way to take pleasure in this tragedy.
The saddest part of this tragey is that there is no reason to dispose of the ashes in a fireplace right after the fire dies. It's perfectly safe to leave them there; the fireplace is made to handle them.
Interesting theory, R55 but apparently not the facts. Records show the house as having been sold/purchased in December of 2010, not two years ago. And by all accounts, Madonna and Matthew Badger had separated three years ago, although only started divorce proceedings just prior to Christmas. When she started up with the contractor is another matter, and frankly it's her business. Just wish she'd chosen a smarter contractor who knew to hook up the smoke detectors, or put in temporary battery-operated smoke detectors, and NOT put the damned ashes into a bag and lean it against the house.
The Daily Mail article at R6's link describes Michael Borcina as "the contractor and boyfriend of Madonna Badger" (!) without previously identifying him as the contractor who was working on the house. More shoddy journalism.
The saddest thing about this whole ordeal is the fact that property values in the neighborhood have gone down 8% in the past week. I might as well be living in Groton.
I love dark humor as much as the next guy but I don't see anything funny here. How does any human being get through something like this? I thought that couple that lost all 3 of their daughters in the Diane Schuler wrong-way case was the worst case of child loss I ever heard. This might be worse!
But R62 had to peruse all 61 posts before making her sniff-sniff judgment, didn't she?
Her judgment is so refined she also is comparing her ranking of familial-death horrors to see if she has a new score to announce.
Oh, the Humanity, Bitch.
First - I can't believe that douche-tard is trying to "stay positive". Um, you're basically responsible for wiping out a whole family... positive should not be in the vocab.
Second - yes, embers are a tricky lot. My partner built a gorgeous cedar deck on the back of our house and I singlehandedly almost burned it down in a matter of minutes. The jokes write themselves here, but I was smoking sausage in my new smoker. I was replacing the wood chips, taking out the old ones, and setting them on newspaper so as not to mess up the deck (ahem). In a matter of moments, flames started shooting up from the paper and flying around the deck. I was running around, screaming in a panic, and perhaps was slow to get the water hose. Anyway, thank god it didn't reach the house but half the 25' deck was charred. My partner was so mad, he wouldn't even taste my sausage which was delicious, inspite of the fire. All that to say, I'm an idiot and didn't realise how "live" embers can be but I would certainly expect more from a contractor..
I am sorry, R64, but I think it's hilarious that you attempted to solicit a good opinion of your smoked sausage from your partner after you charred a half a 25' deck he had built. If I were in his shoes I would have been too mad to sample the sausage too. It would have been overpowered by the taste of rage.
There's 4 children with the grandparents in the photograph at R6's link. Lily, Grace and Sarah who were all killed in the fire and then there is Morgan, who was not in the house. Where was Morgan? Wandering around outside? Why is nobody else talking about Morgan?
Morgan is probably Badger's niece.
R1, This year, some other piece of shit, loser father dressed up as santa claus and went over to visit his family and shot everyone (7 people). The kids posted something on a social network like , "here comes dad dressed as santa, he wants to be father of the year"
Is the asswipe contractor floating that Santa/embers story to engender more sympathy and deflect guilt from himself?
tastin them sausages
they cleaned the fireplace out because the children were afraid for santa but realy 3am the children were sleeping and would never have known if they cleaned it out . so they were definetly drunk and you dont pour water on smoldering ash def alcohol and and laziness played a big roll my prayers are with those poor children be thankful for your children and family
are u serious r61 really i hope you go broke and loose evrything selfish bitch
morgan is the niece not in the house
I feel the reactions are so bizarre. This Borricelo person was at the funeral comforting the dad. If I was the dad I would be so angry at this man. Same with the Taconic crash, the brother and sister-in-law never acknowledged that Diane Schuler was drunk.
R76, that struck me as odd, too. Parents usually get their kids to go to bed early because they know they'll be up at the crack of dawn for Santa. I doubt those kids were up at 3 am asking to have the embers taken outside. I don't know if the mother and boyfriend were drunk or just idiots (or drunken idiots) but don't try to drag Santa into this!
R79, the boyfriend probably had to go to the funeral. If he didn't go, there would be comments about his insensitivity. He can't win. Madonna will probably dump him soon - I can't imagine staying with somebody who was responsible, even accidentally, for the death of my children and parents Maybe if it was the bio-dad, but not a boyfriend of a year or two who is not the father of the kids. It will be interesting to see what comes out in the police investigation. Perhaps the father will file a lawsuit against the BF as well.
The funeral was today.... do you think they were cremated?
Vera Wang looked like she just came from the gym.
A mother publicly eulogizing her dead children at their funeral is in incredibly bad taste and represents a horrendous, mawkish, soul-smashing self-immolation.
One may - must - excuse any action by a mother and daughter at such a time. However, adhering to the time-honored bounds protects both the grieving and the people who are there to support them from compromising the situation and creating a ghoul's delight.
I suspect this choice is indicative of the type of person she is, and perhaps shed some light.
Now, please - can she go away? Or will she, I also suspect, emerge as the permanent public face of uber-grief, popping up to trump anyone facing personal loss with her cool wisdom and PR brilliance in turning char into ice sculpture?
Santa my ass! The youngest kids were 7 years old. I don't know any non-developmentally delayed 7 year olds who haven't found out there's no Santa.
Word -- she'll be on The Apprentice in two years.
I smell a rat.
Boyfriend is under investigation. She tries to commit suicide. It just keeps getting worse.
It's interesting that the grieving mom "attempted" suicide. If my kids burned to death I would want to die, too, and I would also make sure I was successful.
We all know successful suicide methods: gunshot to the head, carbon monoxide through a hose in your car, jumping off a tall bridge, etc.
And we all know the unsuccessful attention-seeking ones: a few pills, a delicate horizontal slice of the wrist, etc.
Which method did she choose?
I have a ten-year-old, so I just went through the Santa thing.
At seven, our daughter certainly believed in Santa Claus as did most of her second-grade classmates. The few who didn't had parents who wouldn't go along with the whole Christmas thing, but those children didn't want to spoil it for their friends.
In other words, everybody except those who had been told differently believed.
When you google the parents advice websites, six to nine is the age when children start figuring it out, some early some late, of course.
It's a developmental thing, learning that magic doesn't isn't real, cause and effect, those sorts of concepts, and magic is certainly real for children through that period.
When I was a kid, we all knew there was no Santa by Christmas of first grade. It was a rite of passage. You weren't a toddler anymore, so if you didn't know, your friends or older siblings told you.
Ten years old? That's whack. I couldn't allow a kid older than 7 to believe in Santa Claus. My son knew by second grade.
There were seven-year-old twins. There was a ten-year-old sister, this is true, but the twins were seven.
Older children often have fun keeping the secret and playing along once they find out so that younger children can keep believing.
It's one way parents help children make the transition from seeing Christmas as about what they get for themselves and shifting over to making it something special for other people.
She needs to remember that life is a mystery. Everyone must stand alone. I'm sure she hears her daughters call her name and it feels like...home.
I can't imagine being able to speak at all during the funeral of my three suddenly-dead children. I'd need to be sedated and dragged to the funeral with a person holding me up on either side of me.
It's a helluva name... Madonna Badger.
And she is rather fug.
Think of the the stupidest, nastiest kids in your class when you were a kid.
They grew up and were unable to hold a steady job because they couldn't get along with others and wanted 200 days off a year.
Those are contractors.
Comments from former employees the contractor: I def. don't think Borcina was with Madonna for her looks....
1. Zeke Says:
January 5th, 2012 at 10:51 am
I worked for Borcina in that house last year. After more than 25 yrs in the trades I never experienced anything like it. The guy was impossible to work for, nobody was good enough ( in his opinion ). I lasted 5 weeks. In that time I saw at least 15 highly qualified workers,either quit or get fired. Although I had no other employment I had to get away from the madness. A revolving door of workers some only lasted a couple of hours. There is a word for this type of individual psychopath. The authorities really should take a long hard look at this marginal individual. Dangerous on many levels
2. Zeke Says:
January 5th, 2012 at 12:04 pm
Just a few more points.
At the time I was working for him, he was not romantically interested in her (he was dating another woman), but he was interested in her wealth. Commenting to me that she is rich and if we (Tiberias Const.) play our cards right there is the potential for alot more work to be had.
The other point concerning his character. Borcina would regularly steel from his workers, wage theft. Every week he shorted us our hours. In my case 4 to 6 hours.
By the way I do not write these comments because I’m disgruntled.
I write them because five people lost their lives.
January 6th, 2012 at 3:29 pm
Zeke, I also worked for Borcina not long ago, I have been doing carpentry for over 35 years and I had to quit after being constantly screamed and yelled at for 2 weeks, safety was not a concern of his, working on the 1st floor with an open staircase leading to the basement with no safety railing going around it, he only installed it after the owners complained about it, and yes he ended up owing me 14 hours of pay which I never received. I tried to get the money owed me numerous times before i finally gave up, I also knew that things would catch up with him but I am deeply saddened that it was at the expense of 3 innocent and beautiful children and their grandparents
Has she been arrested yet? Not for the fire - for the Halftime show.
No charges yet. The case was supposed to be completed by mid-February.
Both Madonna Badger and Michael Borcina are uglier then shit. You both should be punished. Has it gotten to the point that pussy and cocks rule in our USA and thats all we want of each other!!!!
Well, a sure good test if they are guilty is if they are stil together. I noticed Matt Lower didn't address that fact
I saw her interviewed. I still don't know what to think, although after, they had a fire chief speak who said that ashes are notoriously tricky and even if they look ember-free, they can flare up into flames even hours later.
Her situation reminds me of the words the famous Franz Liebkind once uttered:
"Boy, vhen tings go wrong!"
[quote] the act of a person who doesn't have the intelligence level to be a grocery bagger, let alone have a contracting license.
Where I live, the losers who can't get a real job become contractors. Not much intelligence is required.
Does she continue to work?
Ms Badger i share your pain, Having lost four our siblings in a electrical fire over 30 years ago the pain will subside the memory will always be very real as if though it was yesterday. I pray that you will find peace in the future. As God gives you strength.
I find this recent cased of all six children much more disturbing. Just heartbreaking. The parents have been charged with murder.
R107, that is nice that you are trying to comfort someone. I can't imagine what your loss would have been like.