‘I would like you to hug your child.’ St. Paul father gives update on family members who survived fire that killed 4 kids

Survivors of St. Paul fatal fire recovering

Survivors of St. Paul fatal fire recovering

Three-year-old Hnub Qub Vang was all smiles Saturday — a moment of joy for a family that has lost so much.

“As you can see, she is doing well, recovering and staying with family right now,” says Susan Vang, a family spokesperson. “This has been an incredibly challenging time for us, but we find solace in knowing that we have your unwavering support.”

The little girl was recently released from the hospital, after a Jan. 3 fire that took the lives of her five-year-old twin sisters, and two brothers, aged four and one.  

 “I’m really grateful for anyone showing support to my family,” says Pa Cheng Vang, Hnub Qub’s father. “Everyone’s love, I really appreciate it.”

The fire broke out around 1:30 in the morning, at the Vang’s Arkwright Street home.

Pa Cheng’s wife Ker Lor was inside, along with their six children.

Firefighters were able to get them out, but the seven family members weren’t responsive.  

“For this father, for this family, is just beyond words,” recalls Jake Ryks, a St. Paul firefighter.

The family says Ker Lor, 28, remains unconscious and unable to speak.

Another son, who’s six years old, is in therapy, learning to walk again.

“That’s really hard to see,” Pa Chang says. “But sometimes these moments make you feel, really enjoying that, seeing that he’s getting there.”

For this day — joy, sorrow, and perhaps some hope.   

“This little girl that’s going to go live a long happy life and other victims that are still alive and still making strides,” Ryks notes. “Like, it’s humbling beyond words.”

Fire investigators suspect an unattended candle started the blaze, which broke out while Pa Cheng was at work.

In Hmong tradition, funerals for the children will be held separately, taking place in February and March.

After everything they’ve lost, Pa Cheng says he and his family are trying to heal.

“We’re slowly getting better, bit by bit,” he explains. “I would like you to hug your child or your kids to show them how much you love them.”