Contractor Pays $5M Over Xmas Fire That Killed 5

He settles lawsuit with father of 3 girls
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 13, 2015 10:56 PM CST
Updated Jan 14, 2015 12:15 AM CST
Contractor Pays $5M Over Xmas Fire That Killed 5
In this Jan. 5, 2012, photo, Matthew Badger and Madonna Badger are seen at the funeral of their three daughters.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

(Newser) – A contractor who accidentally caused a fire at a Connecticut home that killed three girls and two of their grandparents on Christmas Day 2011 has agreed to settle part of a wrongful-death lawsuit by paying the children's father $5 million. Court records show that contractor Michael Borcina and his company settled Matthew Badger's lawsuit last month. The fire in Stamford killed 7-year-old twins Grace and Sarah Badger, 9-year-old Lily Badger, and their maternal grandparents, Lomer and Pauline Johnson. The girls' mother, Madonna Badger, and Borcina were dating at the time and escaped the fire.

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Authorities say the fire began after Borcina left a bag of fireplace ashes in a bin in a mudroom in the house. Borcina, who was renovating the $1.7 million Victorian home, was accused in the lawsuit of contributing with other defendants to make the house a "firetrap," including failing to install a smoke detection system during the construction. A lawyer representing Matthew Badger says the $5 million settlement is the first in the lawsuit, which remains pending against several other defendants, including the city of Stamford. Madonna Badger, a New York ad exec, is also suing Stamford, alleging city officials intentionally destroyed evidence when they demolished the home without notice shortly after the fire. (Read more Madonna Badger stories.)

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