Classmates Of Girls Killed In Stamford Fire Return To School

Administrators Ready For 'Emotionally Wrenching Day'

STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — Students returned to class Tuesday at the Windward School in Westchester County for the first time since three of their classmates were killed in a fire in Stamford on Christmas Day.

Investigators have determined that improperly placed fire embers sparked the blaze.

Lily Badger, 10, and 7-year-old twins Grace and Sarah Badger died along with their grandparents Lomer and Pauline Johnson.

Administrators at Windward said they had been bracing for what’s likely to be an “emotionally wrenching day.” Nearby schools have even offered the services of their student counselors.

Experts say that the emotional toll for those who went to school with the girls will be severe.

“It is chilling for anyone watching, but it’s particularly worrisome for those who knew the girls or went to school with them,” said Dr. Harold Koplewicz of the Child Mind Institute.

Koplewicz worked with Windward on its tragedy response plan.

“We would be surprised if children who attended school today at Windward weren’t somewhat anxious, somewhat scared,” he told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.

A number of Windward students have asked to attend a private wake for the girls and their grandparents. Among those in attendance will be a dozen Stamford firefighters who worked heroically in an attempt to save the victims.

But Capt. Paul Newman of the Stamford Fire Department said that Wednesday’s service isn’t about the firefighters.

“We don’t want the focus to be on the firefighters. We want the focus to be on the family and the tragedy that they’re going through. So most importantly we’re concerned about them,” he said.

The funeral for the Badger girls will be on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Manhattan. The service will be open to the public.

Following the service, there will be a private committal at Woodlawn Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to a memorial fund.  For more information on that, click here.

For more information on helping children cope with grief, click here.

You may share your thoughts in our comments section below…

  • xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Maybe the school can have a lesson on Mommy not letting strange men sleep in there house and it will save some children s lives in the future..Liberalism is a mental disorder

  • May

    Rest in peace beautiful little girls. You did not die in vain. Many people have become aware of fire safety because of you. I know you are all in heaven.

  • Carla Jen McCarthy

    That poor family! I hope that the family’s friends and neighbors will be ok. I hope things get better for them later on.

  • nayre

    The loss of three daughters is beyond understanding. The pain, the heart breaking feeling of despair their parents will live with everyday should be shared by all of us.That is all we can offer this family…our hearts, our shoulders and our prayers.

  • JG

    I am guilty of being so wrapped up in this. It has absolutely torn my heart to pieces. Reading the comments from those, who are so perfect, has just disgusted me. These were children and now angels of God. This was a horrific accident! I feel for the pain the mother, boyfriend, father, family, friends and peers are going through. I have prayed every night and will continue.

  • Lorayne Carbon

    The Press swarming outside the school today was horrific! The children and teachers have enough to process today without the press. Shame Shame Shame!

  • Ronnie James Dio

    Life goes on. And on and on and on and on.

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