The house he was doing renovations on in the upscale city of Stamford caught fire. The owner, Madonna Badger, lost her three young daughters and parents. She survived the blaze, as did Borcina who was spending the holiday at the house with her in a romantic relationship.
Investigators suspected that boxed hot ashes put on the porch set off the blaze. But that hasn't been proved and may never be. The house was torn down before evidence could be gathered. Badger is suing the city of Stamford for that.
Initially, Borcina said he was the one who put the ashes on the porch. More recently he changed that story in a deposition. He now alleges that Badger did what may or may not have caused the fire. That is, made the decision to put the ashes where they could ignite.
Since the tragedy, Badger, an advertising executive, eventually did return to work and remarried. She is now an advocate of having advertising not depict women as sex objects. That is in honor of the daughters she had lost. Before getting back on her feet she had attempted suicide. Going west for therapy helped her pick up the pieces of her life.
Her former husband, Matthew, is the father of the dead children. He is suing Borcina for negligence in renovations. In addition he is also suing the city of Stamford
The latest development in this tragedy is that Borcina has gone missing. His lawyer can't reach him. As the New York Post reports:
"The contractor [Borcina] who initially took the fall for a Christmas Day blaze that killed his then-girlfriend's three children and parents is nowhere to be found after failing to submit documents to a Connecticut court. A Hartford Superior Court judge has scheduled an emergency hearing for Thursday to discuss why Michael Borcina hasn't turned over the construction documents, despite being ordered to three times last year ..."
The documents are associated with Matthew's Badger's wrongful death lawsuit against both Borcina and Stamford.
Madonna Badger is a known brandname in the advertising world. For instance, Calvin Klein had attended her children's funeral in Manhattan. The change in Borcina's testimony about who was responsible for the placement of the hot ashes can cast a shadow on this still-grieving mother.
In the legal twists and turns reputations and big money are involved. One wonders if Borcina proved an inconvenient witness. Or, if simply had had enough of this sad episode in his life.
In CT, this fire was among the major tragedies of the 21st century in the state. The other two were the fatal home invasion of the Petit family and the massacre of the children in Newtown.