MANHATTAN — The Manhattan man whose children died in a tragic Christmas Day fire in their mother's Connecticut home has spoken publicly for the first time about his grief.
Matthew Badger told ABC News that he is still in shock over the deaths of Lily, 9, and twins Sarah and Gracie, 7.
They were killed in a fire along with their grandparents in their Stamford home. Advertising executive Madonna Badger and her boyfriend, Michael Borcina, a contractor who was renovating the house, were the only survivors.
He told ABC News that, days before the fatal blaze, he enjoyed a weeklong visit with his daughters, during which they celebrated Christmas early.
"I was with them for an entire week in my apartment," Badger told ABC News.
"It was dancing. We had our own Christmas tree. ...They were all very happy."
He said he still studies photographs of his girls and struggles to understand why this happened.
"It was very difficult to see… Why did this happen? I mean, it doesn't make any sense," he said.
"And I'd just seen them the day before. The experience … of memories about their lives has been one of… tears. And every time I open up my computer and look at pictures of them, I am moved."
Matthew Badger said that he hopes to turn his grief into something positive by creating the Lily, Sarah, Grace Fund.
The fund will offer money to elementary school teachers who use art — his daughters' favorite subject — in their teaching. He hopes the organization will keep his daughter's memory alive and help him cope with his grief.
"Ultimately, [my] healing will be when [I] walk into a classroom in the fall, and see one of those classes that is being funded by this monument that I've created for my children," he said.