Matthew Badger, left, and Madonna Badger, the parents of three children that were killed in a fire
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Criminal charges won't be filed in a Christmas morning house fire that killed three girls and their grandparents, a prosecutor said today.
The fire killed 7-year-old twins Grace and Sarah Badger, 9-year-old Lily Badger and their grandparents Lomer and Pauline Johnson. The girls' mother, Madonna Badger, and her friend Michael Borcina escaped the fire. Officials say embers in a bag of discarded fireplace ashes sparked the blaze.
Stamford State's Attorney David Cohen said today that some precautions were taken and that while in hindsight they were insufficient, they didn't rise to the level of criminal negligence.
"However," Cohen continued, "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 girls' parents have filed notices that they plan to sue Stamford, accusing officials of intentionally destroying evidence when they demolished the tony shoreline home a day after the fire.