Fire Dept. releases recordings in Stamford tragedy

December 29, 2011 7:49:51 PM PST
The Stamford Fire Department has released dramatic recordings from the day a Connecticut home went up in flames, killing five people including three children.

For the firefighters, the stress must have been unbearable.

The searing heat, the choking smoke, and knowing children were trapped on the upper floors.

"We have victims trapped on the second floor, we're going to rescue mode with a ladder. We've got a report from one of the victims, there's people in that window," the Stamford Fire Department's radio transmission said.

The radio transmissions paint a picture of controlled chaos and desperation.



The firefighters struggle to reach them, but are driven back, again and again.

"You have heavy fire right above your head-back out back out! All units on the interior, all units on the interior, back out. Back out! How you making out Tom? I got one over here," the radio transmissions said.

But it was all too late.

The deadly smoke had claimed the lives of all three little girls.

9-year-old Lily and 7-year-old twins, Gracie and Sarah.

A picture was taken by their father, just four days before the fire.

Family friend Abby Ballin released a statement on behalf of the childrens' father:

"Matthew was a truly one of a kind father, one that most don't come by frequently. He was kind, loving, on hand, extremely creative, and as the girls would say 'the funnest dad around!'

Matthew loved his darling daughters more than life itself and did anything and everything he could to make sure their life was filled with love, joy and adventure. The girls always knew when they were with their father that it would never be boring and a new and exciting adventure was always on its way.

He enjoyed and contributed to all their various activities such as drawing, painting, signing, acting and Lily's favorite the impersonations of accents!

Their home was always filled with music and colorful art could be seen everywhere.

These three special girls, Lily, Sarah & Gracie were a trio and could never be torn apart. Their spirits will live on forever and ever in the hearts of their family and loves ones. We couldn't have been blessed with three more truly unique girls, there are no words to express how marvelous they are.

You could not have found a pair of parents like Matthew and Madonna Badger that always put their children first and did everything in their power to give them the best lives conceivable. There will never be two people less deserving of this tragedy.

These were three of the happiest girls the world could find. Life will never be the same without them, but we all know that some where they are twirling and singing and painting the heavens...."

Also killed in the fire, were the children's grandparents.

Pauline and Lomer Johnson will be buried next week in Canada.

The cause of the fire was found to be ashes from the fireplace left unattended on a back porch.

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