Wakes held for girls who died in Christmas day fire

January 4, 2012 7:55:46 PM PST
There was a wake Wednesday night for three young sisters and their two grandparents killed in the Christmas morning house fire in Connecticut.

That wake was held at a funeral home on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

There were five caskets and so many broken hearts.

2,000 people are expected to attend the funeral for Lily, Sarah and Grace Badger at St Thomas' Church Thursday morning.

Wednesday night, the girls' devastated parents looked to family and friends for support at their daughters' wake.

Madonna Badger was supported by two funeral home employees as she left the wake for her three daughters.

The girls' father, Matthew Badger, was also there.

His sadness and loss, made him appear so different than the man in a photo that was taken less than a week before the fire, where he was pictured smiling with 9-year old Lilly and 7-year olds Sarah and Grace.

Wednesday evening, a family friend read a statement from the grieving parents: "The family is here to remember, mourn and honor their beloved Sarah, Lilly and Grace as well as Lomer and Pauline Johnson. It is an incredibly difficult time for all of us."

Several hundred people attended the wake at the Frank E. Campbell funeral home on the Upper East Side.

Among the mourners was Michael Borcina, Madonna Badger's companion and the only other survivor of the Christmas blaze, Stamford's mayor, and more than a dozen Stamford firefighters, whom the Badgers thanked for their heroism.

"The amazing support from around the world has touched them deeply through this unbearable tragedy," their family spokesperson said.

People inside the wake said the chapel was filled with white and pink flowers, and included mementos from each of the three girls.

The children and their grandparents were all killed on Christmas Day; in a devastating house fire in Stamford that officials say was started by smoldering fireplace embers taken out with the trash.

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