3 kids rescued from Cannon Falls apartment fire in medically induced coma

UPDATE 4/20/23 – Members of the Cannon Falls Police Department say the children who were rescued from a burning building Wednesday afternoon are in a medically induced coma.

According to police, they were given an update from the children’s father at about 12 p.m. Thursday.

As previously reported, the three children, as well as their mother, were hospitalized Wednesday. The three kids were trapped inside the apartment when it caught fire and were all eventually found by first responders.

The kids were brought to the hospital in critical condition, and their mother was treated for an arm injury.

As of Thursday, the father told police all three kids have been stabilized and are being treated in the burn unit.

No other information was provided by Cannon Falls police.

A previous version of this report can be found below.

Fire at Cannon Falls apartment sends 3 kids, mother to hospital

Fire at Cannon Falls apartment sends 3 kids, mother to hospital

INIITAL REPORT 4/19/23 – Multiple children and their mother were taken to a hospital Wednesday after a fire broke out inside a Cannon Falls apartment building.

Firefighters were called to Cannon Valley Apartments, located in the 1200 block of First Street North, early Wednesday afternoon.

A 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS camera at the scene saw several fire trucks, ambulances and police officers at the apartment building.

Cannon Falls Police Chief Jeff McCormick says officers were told while en route that flames were visible from outside and kids were still inside. When they arrived, a woman told officers that her kids were still inside and she’d cut her arm trying to get them out.

After officers started breaking out windows, McCormick says a couple of the kids were spotted in a living room area. They were taken out to ambulances as firefighters arrived and started working to extinguish the fire.

The chief says a third child was then found inside and brought to safety.

“It’s very hard in this line of work, we deal with a lot of things, but children take a special place,” McCormick said, adding that they weren’t initially too responsive, and his heart “just drops.” However, he credited the work of the paramedics at the scene with helping the children.

“When (the firefighter) called out an all-stop and said he found the third child, boy, it was really a powerful moment,” McCormick added.

All three kids were taken to a hospital, as was the mother. Their ages weren’t immediately clear but police estimated one was less than a year old, another was 1 to 2 years old and the third was 7. McCormick said the kids were all in critical condition and the mother’s injury looked “pretty significant.” The children were also airlifted to another hospital after initially being taken from the scene by ambulance, according to the police chief.

No other injuries were reported.

“It’s just shocking,” says Cassie Fox, a neighbor. “You just go numb. You don’t know how to react to it. I just pray for the babies.”

“I cried the whole way back,” adds Tiffany Vang, who also lives nearby. “I just, at the time, didn’t know what happened. What was going on, what was going to happen.”

Police later learned one of the kids from the apartment was at school and another was at home but sheltered in a bus outside.

The apartment has been deemed uninhabitable and the Red Cross has responded to see if they need to provide shelter for any of the displaced residents, McCormick said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Meanwhile, the community is praying for the family.

“Just hope the kids are OK,” Vang said. “The family, the mom, too, but mostly the kids. I hope they’re OK.”