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Stamford's Fatal Shippan Ave. Fire: A Timeline

Events that led to and occurred during Christmas morning's tragic fire at 2267 Shippan Ave., according to factual statements.

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.

Donnie December 28, 2011 at 02:21 PM
I like to know the demo team's name. Most of us what like to know how you can get a team out a day after Christmas.
Jeff December 29, 2011 at 04:19 PM
"Tossed a yule log that had been burning..." All the smoke detectors in the world will not protect one from stupidity. Sorry people but 5 people are dead. Where are the criminal negligence charges? This single action placed the whole neighborhood at risk. It also needlessly endangered the lives of all police & firefighters who responded to this senseless tragedy. Until the attitude about fires being an "accident" changes things like this will continue to happen in The United States. In Japan, with the exception of an act of God caused by a bolt of lightening, all fires are considered to be preventable, none occur by "accident". People who cause fires in Japan are ostracized to the point that they are lucky if they can find a place to live as they place whole cities at risk. I know people will feel I am insensitive. Ask the father of the 3 little girls who died if I am being insensitive.
Samantha B. December 29, 2011 at 07:43 PM
I am pretty much disgusted with this story. What of a man does this and then says, 'we will be okay. we are being positive" ..Positive about what exactly? The ONLY PERSON I feel sorry for is the father of those children. Wait till the insurance company gets involved. If not criminal then civil lawsuits will begin for this as you say preventable fire that killed 5 people.
alanweberman January 06, 2012 at 04:44 PM
The story about Santa burning his behind is nonsense. There were numerous fireplaces in that old house. I don't believe the kids ran back into the fire. Didn't Borcina grab them by the hands. He is a liar and she is an adulterer. The house was torn down so quickly. Cover up. He hurt his knee and suffered smoke inhalation,. No burns. He never tried to save them. He hurt his knee running out of the house. She never went back in but climbed scaffolding. At least she tried. The grandfather tried. Borcina is a contractor. He should have known better. Now the embers are outside, before in a a mudroom. Something stinks.
Shelly Boyle June 26, 2012 at 04:14 AM
I agree with Alan and other comments. Borcina caused the fire and then ran out of the house to save only himself. He is a contractor but had no idea that fireplace ashes placed in a paper bag on top of a plastic container in the house, would be able to catch fire after smoldering for a short time. Their stupidity is beyond belief. I think that that they shared a bottle of wine and they wsre a bit tipsy when they swept out the fireplace ashes at 3 in the morning. I never heard of anyone doing that. I used to throw water in the ashes a while before I went to bed. I also had a glass enclosure to ensure the ashes stayed in the fireplace. I never swept them out and never had a problem. I knew all this and I was only about 25 when I purchased my first house with a fireplace.

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