Fire-Starting Embers Moved to Make Way for Santa
Cruel new detail in Christmas morning fire that killed Madonna Badger's 3 girls
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2012 8:49 PM CST
In this Dec. 25 photo, firefighters inspect a section of a house in Stamford, Conn., where an early morning fire left five people dead.   (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
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(Newser) – Just when you thought the story of the Connecticut Christmas morning fire couldn't get any worse, the cruelest twist: Two officials told the AP that the smoldering embers believed to have started the fire were removed from the fireplace so that Madonna Badger's three kids wouldn't worry about Santa Claus getting hurt as he entered the house through the chimney. A funeral service will be held Thursday in New York City for the girls, 10-year-old Lilly and 7-year-old twins Grace and Sarah.

Police yesterday noted that officials are reviewing whether smoke alarms were present, and whether contractor Michael Borcina, who was in the home but able to escape the fire, had permits to do the renovation work. The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection has said that neither he nor his company was registered to renovate homes in the state. Contractors are required to register in Connecticut to do work there, though numerous building and other permits are issued by local officials.