INSIDE EDITION learned of heart-wrenching details from Madonna Badger herself, about the horrific house fire on Christmas morning that claimed the lives of her three young daughters, and her parents.
"It's impossible to describe how you can't save your own children, but I couldn't get through that smoke," Badger told Lauer.
The devestated mother wept as she described how she tried desperately to reach the third floor bedrooms where her little girls were asleep. Their 1.7 million dollar home is undergoing renovation in Stamford, Connecticut.
"I scrambled up the scaffolding to get to Grace's window. I opened that window and the smoke that hit me—it was just the blackest, like an ocean. It was twirling and there was embers and all kinds of stuff in it. I kept trying to hold my breath and put my head in, I did that like three or four times but I couldn't get in the window," Badger recalled.
Officials say the blaze was caused by fireplace embers that ignited in a paper bag. However, in another portion of the interview, airing Thursday night on Rock Center, Badger said her boyfriend, Michael Borcina, who also survived the fire, had checked the embers and found them cool to the touch.
Badger told Lauer, "I watched him put his hands in the bag to make sure there was nothing on fire in the bag. I don't believe the ashes started the fire," said Badger.
A column on the Daily Beast website said, "Madonna Badger's Today interview shouldn't ignore fire's tragic lessons."
The column cites fire experts who say that fireplace embers or ashes can be hazardous for days with the danger to re-ignite. One fire expert told us, "Don't take ashes or embers for granted. It's a hidden fire waiting to happen."