Radio Dispatches from the Fatal Christmas Fire in Connecticut
"We've got victims trapped on the second floor. We're going to rescue mode."
Radio transmissions between firefighters revealed the desperate battle to control the deadly Connecticut inferno.
"Be advised, you have heavy fire right above your head. Back out, back out."
These just-released recordings also revealed that a dispatcher feared early on that there were youngsters in peril.
One firefighter warned, "Reported children inside the house. House is occupied."
"We have heavy fire in the back of the building, we're starting to knock it down," say another.
The survivors pleaded with rescuers. "We got a report from one of the victims, there's people in that window. We've got to get in there."
Another rescuer realizes the scale of the unfolding tragedy, "Medic one, send all ambulance vehicles down to this location."
There were still more dramatic moments as firefighters searched for victims.
"I got one over here."
"You got one?"
"Search as much as you can and try to bring the kid if you...Bring the victim, please."
The rescuers' heroic efforts were in vain. Seven-year-old twins Sarah and Grace Badger died in the fire in the Stamford house. As well as their ten-year-old sister Lilly and the girls' grandparents, Pauline and Lomer Johnson.
Many devastated firefighters are receiving counseling after the tragedy.
A just-released photo of the little girls with their father, Matthew, captured a precious family moment that tragically will never again be repeated. The dad's brother said, "Matthew is devastated. He's doing as best as can be expected."
There's also more support for the mother of the girls, who, incredibly, has been criticized for not doing enough to save her children.
"My heart just bleads for her, I can't imagine what she is going through at this time," said a chocked-up Fire Chief at a presser on Thursday.
In an Inside Edition online poll, 66 percent of those who responded think the criticisms of Madonna Badger were unfair and insensitive.
"Leave that poor woman alone," says one. Another commented, "She just lost her family. Give the poor woman a break."