The Connecticut woman whose three daughters and parents died in a Christmas Day blaze that engulfed her Victorian home says firefighters pulled her away as she tried to get back into the burning house to save her family.
Madonna Badger says in an interview taped for the "Today" show that she was yelling, "Where are my kids? Where are my babies?"
The fire in Stamford killed 7-year-old twins Grace and Sarah Badger, 9-year-old Lily Badger, and their grandparents Lomer and Pauline Johnson. Badger and her contractor friend Michael Borcina managed to get outside.
Badger said she tried to run back in to help her children but was held back due to concerns over smoke inhalation. "My teeth were black and my mouth was black from the smoke," she told "Today." "They said I had to go right away."
But she knew it was bad when somebody yelled to turn off the radios.
Authorities have said the blaze was started after Borcina discarded a bag of fireplace ashes in a mudroom near the trash. Badger told "Today" she disagrees with that theory, saying she watched Borcina put his hands into the plastic bag to make sure the embers were out before he put the bag in the mudroom.
Prosecutors announced earlier this month that no criminal charges would be filed in connection with the deadly blaze, citing "insufficient evidence" and an investigation hampered by the actions of some officials, including demolishing the house before all inspections could be carried out.
Badger has previously said she plans to sue the city of Stamford for property damage, personal injury and civil rights violations, arguing the city failed to give her proper notice and compensation when it tore down the charred remains of her home.
As for how she's dealing with the remains of her life, one she must live without the three beautiful young girls she elegantly eulogized at their January funeral, Badger told "Today" she's doing it "a day at a time."
“I mean, there’s really no way — every day I wake up and I have to remember, you know? So every day I have to go through that day. And then another day starts. So really it’s just one day at a time,” she said.
The interview is airing Thursday on "Today" and "Rock Center with Brian Williams." A segment was posted online Tuesday (watch below).
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