Madonna Badger, from Stamford, Connecticut, climbed onto the roof of her burning house and tried to smash the windows of her daughters’ bedrooms in a bid to save them from the flames ravaging her home.
Madonna Badger, a 47-yea-old former Calvin Klein art director, and friend Michael Borcina survived the horrific Christmas day fire at her home that claimed the lives of her three daughters and their grandparents.
The girls, Lily, 10, and twins Sarah and Grace, 7, perished in the 5 a.m. fire with Madonna Badger’s parents, Lomer and Pauline Johnson, who were to celebrate their 49th wedding anniversary today.
Firefighters desperately tried to reach the family members who were trapped on the second floor of the $1,725,000 house by the raging flames.
According to witnesses, Madonna Badger, who runs Badger and Winters fashion branding consulting firm and created the Mark Wahlberg underwear adverts for Calvin Klein, was dazed as rescue workers helped her. She was heard saying: “My whole life is in there.”
The woman was seen being led away from the flames with acquaintance Michael Borcina, who was barefoot and wearing boxers and a t-shirt.
Michael Borcina is the president of New York City construction firm Tiberias Construction Inc., believed to be the company renovating the five-bedroom home.
The grandparents moved to the New York area from Kentucky five years ago to be near their grandchildren, according to the New York Times.
The day before he died, Lomer Johnson, 71, worked at his “dream job” as Santa Claus at the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store in Manhattan, New York, the family member said. Pauline Johnson, 69, watched on as he handed out candy canes and posed for pictures.
“That’s all he ever wanted to be,” a family member told the New York Times. “He stopped shaving the day he retired.”
Madonna Badger was reported to be a “fair condition” at Stamford Hospital on Sunday afternoon. A supervisor at the hospital said she was treated and discharged by the evening.
Michael Borcina was also hospitalized but his condition was not released.
Police officers drove Madonna Badger’s husband, Matthew Badger, from New York City to Stamford on Sunday morning.
The couple had separated three years ago. She filed for divorce in October.
Acting Fire Chief Antonio Conte said desperate attempts by firefighters to rescue the family were thwarted by the intense flames and heat.
A total of 46 firefighters attended the scene.
All five victims were removed from the second floor of the burnt-out building this evening.
Antonio Conte said fire officials do not yet know the cause of the blaze and will not likely get clues for a few days until fire marshals can enter the house, which has been completely destroyed.
The house was being renovated but fire officials do not believe that was the cause of the blaze.
Property records show Madonna Badger bought the five-bedroom, waterfront Victorian home for $1.7 million last year.
The house is situated in Shippan Point, a wealthy neighborhood that juts into Long Island Sound.
Stamford is a city of 117,000 residents about 25 miles northeast of New York City.