(NEW YORK) — A Connecticut girl whose grandparents died in the Christmas Day fire that also claimed the lives of her three cousins wrote a poem about her grandmother, whom she called Nana.
Morgan Johnson’s poem is titled “The Nana Who Lived in the Car” because Johnson’s late grandmother, Pauline Johnson, told the girl that she felt like the old woman who lived in a car — instead of the storybook woman who lived in a shoe — because she spent so much time driving between family houses.
“Three of them now play in Heaven/And the Nana drives them around in her car there/With a stuffed animal bunny and a G,” Morgan, 12, wrote.
Morgan called her grandfather, Lomer Johnson, “G.” Before his death, Lomer Johnson had fulfilled a life-long dream of playing Santa Claus at New York City’s Saks Fifth Avenue, at the encouragement of his granddaughters.
“She had four granddaughters/Who loved them so/The Nana the bunny and the G,” she wrote. “She ate and cooked foods of all different kinds/And had a very kind and pretty mind.”
Johnson’s three other granddaughters, Lily, 10, and 7-year-old twins Grace and Sarah were killed in the fire. The only survivors were the girls’ mother, Madonna Badger, and her friend, Michael Borcina, a contractor who had been working on the home.
“That poor woman lost her whole family in one fell swoop,” Stamford Interim Fire Chief Antonio Conte said at a news conference Tuesday. “I can’t imagine how that feels.”
The fire began sometime after 3 a.m. Dec. 25 while the occupants of the house were asleep. Officials said the fire was started by fireplace embers that had been cleared out of the fireplace and put in either a mud room attached to the house or a trash enclosure next to it.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio
Ashley Strickland, CNN
Debra Goldschmidt, CNN
Mariel Turner, Kacey Montoya & Nerissa Knight, KTLA
Betsy Klein, CNN