3 young children dead, 1 toddler in critical condition following St. Paul house fire

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St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter addresses a press conference on Saturday to ask the community to offer support to the Vang family following Wednesday’s house fire. Three of the Vang children died from injuries, while three others and their mother remain hospitalized.
Tim Evans for MPR News

Updated: 1:45 p.m. | Posted: 12:25 p.m.

The father of six children injured in a St. Paul fire earlier this week says three of those children have died.

They include 5-year-old twins and a 4 year old. A 1 year old is in critical condition and is not expected to survive, the father Pa Cheng Vang said at an emotional press conference Saturday morning.

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Photographs of the late children are displayed at the offices of the Hmong 18 Council on Saturday. All three children died following a tragic house fire in St. Paul in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Tim Evans for MPR News

Vang said his wife, Ker Lor, who was hospitalized, is showing promising signs of recovery along with two of his children, 3-year-old Hnub Qub Vaj and 6-year-old Cag Kab Vaj.

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A photograph of Ker Lor (center), mother of three children killed by Wednesday’s house fire in St. Paul, sits among other family photos at the Hmong 18 Council office on Saturday. Vang and three more of her children remain hospitalized following the blaze.
Tim Evans for MPR News

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, who is a friend of the family, called it a “tragedy for our entire community” at the press conference.

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“You’ve endured all our worst nightmare,” he said.

The fire occurred at the family’s home on the 1200 block of Arkwright Street North early Wednesday morning. Victims were taken to hospitals for treatment of smoke inhalation. Vang was at work when the fire happened.

Authorities said the home had working smoke detectors, but the location of the fire in proximity to the bedrooms may have impeded the family from escaping.

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A photograph of the Vang family at the Saturday press conference. Three of the Vang children have died from injuries sustained during a house fire on Wednesday. Three more children and their mother, Ker Lor, remain hospitalized following the blaze.
Tim Evans for MPR News

St. Paul fire officials said the fire remains under investigation, but appears to have been accidental in nature.

Family and community members have set up a GoFundMe campaign to fundraise for funeral expenses.

Correction (Jan. 6, 2024): This story has been edited from its original version to remove the children’s names from the text copy.