A deadly fire that killed a couple and their grandchildren was started by fireplace embers that were discarded near an entryway.
On Tuesday authorities described the scene that occurred on Christmas Day. Authorities said that two of the sisters who died in the fire lost their way as a friend of the family was trying to lead them to safety. The other sister was just feet away from safety but was trapped inside just as her grandfather died during his rescue attempt. The mother was standing outside as she was trying to direct firefighters to her family.
According to CBS, authorities said that the deadly fire that took the three girls and their grandparents’ lives, was started after embers in a bag of fireplace ashes was placed near a first-floor entryway.
A friend who was staying in the home, placed the ashes in the bag and left them around a mudroom and trash enclosure that is connected to the house. This was around 3 a.m.. The fire was reported around 4:40 a.m., according to Barry Callahan, the fire marshal in Stamford.
Brendan Keatley, a Stamford firefighter, said that everybody is devastated at what happen. Keatley was at the scene.
According to the Los Angeles Times, it is not clear if working smoke detectors were inside the home. Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia called the disaster a tragic accident.
According to The New York Times, Madonna Badger, the owner of the house, survived the fire, and so did Michael Borcina, a contractor who had done work on the house and who is described as a family friend.
Badger’s parents, Lomer and Pauline Johnson, as well as her three daughter, Lily, 9, and Grace and Sarah, both 7-years-old, were the victims of the fire.
Badger’s home was in the process of being renovated and the inspection process was not completed. No final certificate of approval for occupancy was issued either, according to the mayor. The building permit was recently changed by Badger, and plans included the installation of a new fire and smoke detection and security system, the mayor said.