Wake Held for Connecticut Christmas Fire Victims

Funeral services were held for victims of the Connecticut house fire that nearly wiped out an entire family on Christmas. INSIDE EDITION reports.

Tragic mom Madonna Badger is seen for first time since the devastating blaze that killed her three little daughters and her parents.

Heartbroken, she was helped to a waiting SUV as she left the New York funeral home where a wake for her family was held. The girls' father, Matthew Badger, who is separated from their mother, also attended. As he left the funeral home, he stood on the sidewalk as if collecting his thoughts on the sad, sad day he said goodbye to his children. He then shook hands with police officers posted outside.

Just hours before, the mom made her first trip back to the site of the blaze in Stamford, Connecticut, that wiped out her family.

A white scarf shrouding her head, the anguished mother was hugged by a supportive friend, spending an hour retrieving personal items from the now-demolished house.

Seven-year-old twins Sarah and Grace Badger, their 10-year-old sister Lily, and their grandparents died in the inferno.

Authorities say the fire started when a yule log was removed from the fireplace and reportedly placed outside in a bag. But embers from the still smoldering log were carried by the wind back into the house, setting it ablaze.

We're also learning the poignant reason why the log was removed. The little girls were afraid it might hurt Santa Claus as he came down the chimney.

Vincent McManus showed INSIDE EDITION's Paul Boyd the perils of fireplace debris at Nassau County Fire Marshall's headquarters department outside New York City.

In a demonstration, the embers start out seemingly harmless. They were then put in a bag. 

Boyd said to McManus, "There's no visible sign of problems with the bag. Is that what makes this so dangerous?"

"It does because you may think there's nothing wrong at this point. It just goes out with the trash. But those embers are in fact heating up inside the bag," said McManus.

In 10 minutes there was the first sign of smoke.

McManus noted, "It's like a ticking time bomb."

And after just 40 minutes, there were flames.

McManus said, "It that bag were with other trash, or next to a home, it could have devastating results."

Boyd asked, "What should people do?"

"Those ashes should be scooped into a metal container, doused with water, put outside your home in a safe place away from any structures," said McManus.

A funeral service for the little victims of the Stanford blaze will be held Thursday.