STAMFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- Stamford residents are shocked that no criminal charges will be filed in the horrible Christmas morning fire that killed five.
"Too much is unknown or in dispute... the facts too inconclusive to prosecute," said David Cohen, the State Prosecutor.
The Christmas morning fire that destroyed most of the Victorian era mansion shocked the entire region. The fire killed three little girls and their maternal grandparents who were visiting for the holiday.
After five months of investigation by the Stamford Police and Fire Department, and the State's Attorney, the conclusion is no criminal charges what so ever.
The girls' mother, Madonna Badger, and her companion and home contractor, Michael Borcina, survived the inferno.
Borcina told investigators, and Badger confirmed, that he had "smoothed his hands" over embers from the fireplace before placing them in paper and plastic bags and placing them in a mud room shortly before going to bed at 4 a.m. Investigators say the fire began in the mud room just 40 minutes later.
"It is my opinion that there is insufficient evidence to establish that either Mrs. Badger or Mr. Borcina were aware of and consciously disregarded a risk that there was a possible live ember in the ash that could result in a catastrophic fire," Cohen said.
Cohen also was sharply critical of the city's decision to quickly demolish the house and says that hampered the investigation so that whether smoke detectors were actually in place and operating during the renovation of the house could not be determined.
"Where so much is unknown or in dispute, where the facts are inconclusive and where the safety of the public will not be enhanced," he said. "I have decided to exercise the discretion given to me by our State Constitution and by my oath of office and decline, at this time, to prosecute."
A lawyer for Borcina told the Connecticut Post his client was grateful for the news.
"I'm very surprised," said Janeth Mendiola. "Someone should get charged, but I'm sure it's going to be in their minds forever. I'm sure they're going to live with it forever."
"A yeah, a little bit, like, I mean, I wouldn't throw flaming ashes into a plastic bag. It just wouldn't be smart," said Erica Tripodi.
A lawyer for Matthew Badger, the father of the three girls, is slamming the city of Stamford for that quick demolition and says he will peruse a lawsuit against the city.
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