Madonna Badger, whose parents and three children died in a Connecticut house fire on Christmas Day 2011, is being accused of causing the deadly fire. Although her former boyfriend, Michael Borcina, initially accepted blame for the devastating accident, he recently retracted his confession. Borcina now insists Badger improperly disposed of hot fireplace ashes. The resulting fire killed 9-year old Lily, 7-year-old twins Sarah and Grace, and Madonna’s parents Pauline and Lomer Johnson.
Borcina’s astonishing confession comes on the heels of multiple lawsuits filed by the children’s father, Matthew Badger, against the city of Stamford and several subcontractors including Borcina.
In 2014, Borcina and his insurance company agreed to a $5 million settlement to the estates of the three children and their grandparents. However, claims against the city, the other subcontractors and their insurance carriers are still pending.
Badger said he is simply seeking clarification as to how his three daughters died and why the city demolished the home fewer than 24 hours after the fire, as opposed to preserving the scene for proper investigation. He also questioned why investigators were not allowed inside the house, with the exception of the building inspector and a local fire marshal.
Michael Borcina was dating New York advertising executive Madonna Badger when the incident occurred. At the time, his company, Tiberias Construction Inc., was in the process of renovating a $1.7 million Victorian home. Unfortunately, according to authorities, the house was a death trap because there were no working smoke alarms in the house during the renovation.
Michael Borcina contends it was Madonna Badger’s idea to move into the home with her daughters and parents. Although he claims he warned her that it was not safe to live in a house during a renovation, Borcina said his former girlfriend insisted they would all be fine.
Borcina initially said he moved a bag of hot fireplace ashes to the mudroom where investigators confirmed the fire originated. However, during a recent deposition, Borcina said his former girlfriend was the one who actually moved the bag of ashes.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) May 10, 2016
According to The Washington Post, Borcina admitted he lied about who put the ashes in the mudroom “to protect Madonna and spare her from carrying the burden that she had done something to hurt her family.”
People reports Madonna Badger confirmed Michael Borcina’s story that he placed the bag in the mudroom, running his hands through the ashes to make sure they were cold before retiring to bed.
Fire investigators are of the opinion that the embers from the fireplace were not completely cooled. When everyone went to bed, they likely sparked and started a massive fire in the Shippan Avenue home.
Borcina said he kept a daily log of the construction that was going on at the residence but was never asked to provide the log to police or the Stamford building inspector. He said, “it was a complete diary of who worked there, what was accomplished, what needed to be done, who I needed to call, and what materials were needed.”
Unfortunately, Michael Borcina later discovered over 98 percent of his files on the Shippan Avenue project were copied and erased from his personal computer. He said he was forced to hire a forensic computer expert to find out what happened to the files.
— People Magazine (@people) May 10, 2016
According to Borcina, the expert concluded Madonna Badger sent all the files to her email address and erased them from Borcina’s personal computer. “She had permission to be in my home, she had permission to be in my office. She did not have permission to wipe out all my documents, pictures and information,” he said.
Madonna Badger has not commented on Michael Borcina’s latest allegations.
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