STAMFORD - Newly released audio tapes from the Stamford Fire Department reveal the desperate struggle by firefighters to try and save five people trapped in a burning house on Shippan Avenue.
Firefighters can be heard willing to dash into a severely compromised structure to try and save the five people inside.
Firefighters say they arrived on the scene Christmas morning to find a massive inferno.
Those closest to the fire kept calling for more pressure for the hoses in what turned out to be a losing battle to stop the flames.
Firefighters say they found homeowner Madonna Badger standing on scaffolding trying to get inside and save her three daughters. The children?s grandparents were also inside.
Eventually, the building was too compromised and firefighters say they had to withdraw.
The state's medical examiner ruled that the three girls and the grandmother died from smoke inhalation.
Officials say the grandfather died from blunt force trauma after falling through the rafters of the roof in a desperate attempt to save one of the girls.
There was a second survivor, a friend of the mother who was the general contractor doing renovations on the house. He was treated for burns and smoke inhalation and has since been released.
Fire officials say he was the one who dumped fireplace embers inside or adjacent to a mudroom, which ignited the blaze.
A service will be held Tuesday for the three girls at the Campbell Funeral Home on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The grandparents will be buried in Newfoundland, Canada.
Stamford Fire Dept. Radio Transmissions (.mp3)
Firefighters receive special counseling after Stamford fireStamford house torn down after 5 die in fire5 killed in Christmas morning house fire