STAMFORD, Conn. – A fire tore through the home of an advertising executive in a tony neighborhood along the Connecticut shoreline Sunday, killing her three children and both of her parents on Christmas morning.
Madonna Badger and a male acquaintance were able to escape from the house as it was engulfed by flames, said Stamford police Sgt. Paul Guzda. But Badger’s three daughters – a 10-year-old and 7-year-old twins – perished in the fire, Guzda said.
He said Badger’s parents, who were visiting for the holiday, also died.
Neighbors awoke to the sound of screaming shortly before 5 a.m. and rushed outside to help, but they could only watch in horror as flames devoured the grand home in the pre-dawn darkness and the shocked, injured survivors were led away from the house.
Badger, an ad executive in the fashion industry, is the founder of New York City-based Badger & Winters Group. A supervisor at Stamford Hospital said she was treated and discharged by Sunday evening.
Property records show she 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.
The male acquaintance who also escaped the blaze was a contractor who was doing work on the home, Guzda said. He was also hospitalized but his condition was not released.
Police officers drove Badger’s husband, Matthew Badger, from New York City to Stamford on Sunday morning. Badger’s parents lived in Southbury, Conn., Guzda said.
Firefighters knew there were other people in the home but could not get to them because the flames were too large and the heat too intense, said Acting Fire Chief Antonio Conte, his voice cracking with emotion.
Conte said fire officials don’t yet know the cause of the blaze and likely won’t get clues for a few days until fire marshals can enter the structure.
Madonna Badger is the creative mind behind major advertising campaigns for leading fashion brands, including the iconic Marky Mark underwear ads for Calvin Klein.