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State's Attorney Say No Criminal Charges in Christmas Day Fire Tragedy

The State's Attorney David Cohen released a statement via his website earlier this morning.

According to a statement made via the website for the State of Connecticut's Division of Criminal Justice, the state will not seek to press criminal charges in the case of the .

"Sometimes the provable conduct involved is such that criminal charges are warranted," said State's Attorney David I. Cohen. "Especially in situations where the safety of the public can be enhanced by the deterrent effect of prosecution. However, where so much is unknown or in dispute, where the facts are inconclusive and where the safety of the public will not be enhanced, I have decided to exercise the discretion given to me by our State constitution and by my oath of office and decline, at this time, to prosecute."

The fire resulted in the death of Madonna and Matthew Badger's three young daughters, . Madonna also lost her parents in the fire, Lomer and Pauline Johnson. Both Matthew and Madonna are .

They believe the home was ordered destroyed—with evidence still inside—far too soon, only a day after the fire. Both blame the city for improper .

"As the chief law enforcement officer of this judicial district, it is my duty to determine whether any criminal charges should be brought as a result of this tragic event," Cohen said. "In that regard, I have relied upon the investigations conducted by the Stamford Fire Department, and the Stamford Police Department, including all their reports, and interviews. I have reviewed photographic evidence, seized evidence and autopsy reports."

Cohen also interviewed all members involved in the incident and pursued information at the request of both the family and the .

The responsibility of the fire was eventually placed on by a friend of Madonna's who was staying at the house at the time, Michael Borcina, according to initial reports.

What is believed to be an accurate timeline of the events on the evening of the fatal fire,, can be found below:

Sunday, Dec. 25, 2011

3:00 a.m. - Shortly before or after this time, an unidentified resident of 2267 Shippan Ave., according to Stamford fire marshals, tossed a yule log that had been burning in the home's fireplace into either a trash enclosure or a mudroom on the first floor.

4:40-4:52 a.m. - A wood ember ignited at an unknown point during this time frame and spread quickly through the first floor and then to the upper floors. Homeowner Madonna Badger and her companion Michael Borcina escaped from the home and neighbors alarmed by Badger's cries for help called emergency response at 4:52 a.m.

4:58 a.m. - 's first team arrived at 2267 Shippan Ave.

"Firefighters from Engine 4 used a portable 24-foot ladder to reach a second floor roof and then climbed scaffolding to get into the home’s third floor to begin search and rescue efforts for the three children and two adults," Stamford firefighter Brendan Keatley wrote in a statement to Patch.

This team, led by SFRD captain Mark Shannon, were repelled by the heat and the heavy flame on the third floor.

5:00 a.m. - A second team of firefighters arrive and moved to extinguish the fire, which was out of control, according to Stamford fire investigators. "Forty six firefighters utilizing 12 pieces of fire apparatus" responded to the fire, Keatley said.

5-5:10 a.m. - The first response team left the home and Borcina informed them that the children may have already gone down to the second floor. The team again tried to enter and were again pushed out by the fire and flame within the home.

Another SFRD team arrived to assist with the flames, however, the possibility of rescue was already gone.


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