Sources: Father Hires Private Investigator; Madonna Badger 'In Safe Place'

STAMFORD, Conn. (CBS 2) — CBS 2 has learned exclusive new information on the deadly Christmas day fire that killed three little girls and their grandparents in Fairfield County.

Tony Aiello reports smoke detectors and fire extinguishers may have been removed from the home, and that girls’ father has hired private investigators.

It’s been one month since the fire that broke countless hearts and took five lives – Sarah, Grace and Lily Badger and grandparents Pauline and Lomer Johnson.

As Stamford police investigate, they’re trying to answer a key question: were battery-operated smoke alarms and several fire extinguishers removed from the home sometime before the fire?

Police refused comment Wednesday, but Aiello has learned several construction workers told investigators the alarms and extinguishers were taken out of the house and stored in the garage, as painters began working on the interior.

Police aren’t the only ones asking questions.

Matthew Badger, the girls’ father, has hired private investigators to look into the circumstances surrounding the fatal fire.

“A private investigation firm can really focus and narrow the scope of their investigation and stay full-time on it,” private investigator Michael Ciravolo said.

Ciravolo, a retired NYPD investigator, is not associated with the firm working for Matthew Badger, but he said it’s a good move to bring in outsiders to supplement the work of police.

“If they find something that in their estimation is criminality or negligence on the part of someone, they have a duty and I’m sure they will take it to the police,” Ciravolo said.

A focus of the investigation has been on Michael Borcina, the contractor renovating Madonna Badger’s home. He’d also been dating her.

Despite an outpouring of support, Madonna Badger is obviously struggling with the terrible loss of her daughters and parents. She said at their funeral …”when I used to hear about people losing a child I would say I could never ever, ever live through losing my babies.”

A source told Aiello that Madonna Badger “is now in a safe place, surrounded by family and long-time friends.”

Meanwhile, Stamford police hope to wrap up their investigation in the next week or two.

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