STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – Was it just a horrible accident, or a crime?
That’s what police and prosecutors were trying to figure out Friday in Connecticut as they began putting the horrendous Christmas Day fire under a legal microscope.
CBS 2’s Lou Young was there as Stamford Police detectives left the Connecticut state attorney’s office fresh from a meeting about the tragic fire.
1010 WINS’ Al Jones Reports
The city’s detective commander said they’re trying to determine if a crime was committed when three young girls and their grandparents were killed.
“We mostly briefed him, gave him some documents and some of our investigative findings to study and get back to us. Not too much direction at this point. Again a very preliminary meeting,” Capt. Richard Conklin said, adding when asked how far the case is from being wrapped up, “well, it’s difficult to say, Lou, but I’d say week to a week-and-a-half.”
Sources told Young it’s all about smoke detectors and fire extinguishers that may have been taken out of the home, which was under renovation. They may have been stored back in that garage prior to the fatal blaze: an act that legally could be construed as criminally negligent homicide or even manslaughter.
Legal experts said the local precedent is the prosecution five years ago of a pool company owner for the fatal drowning of a Greenwich girl. The same state attorney arrested the company’s owner in what some consider to be a much weaker case than the Stamford fire. He eventually pleaded to criminally negligent homicide.
As the contractor, fire survivor Michael Borcina, could conceivably find himself in a similar position, the actions of Madonna Badger, the woman who lost her children and parents in the blaze, are also under scrutiny.
Fire marshals will be comparing their notes with the police in the coming week as well.
“When you have a fire of this magnitude it’s important to take your time,” Stamford Fire Chief Antonio Conte said.
Both Madonna Badger and Borcina have hired attorneys, although it remains unclear if either of them will really need one.
The girls’ father, Matthew Badger, is trying to build a foundation in their memory. On Friday he wrote on his Facebook page, “I keep telling myself I am still being their by insisting that they put a mark in this world.”
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