6 children, 1 adult in critical condition after overnight fire at St. Paul home on city’s east side
Seven people, including six children, are in critical condition after a house fire early Wednesday morning in St. Paul.
Firefighters from the St. Paul Fire Department were seen at the home on Arkwright Street near Hawthorne Avenue at around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. Medics were performing CPR on at least two people, and four ambulances left the scene.
Firefighters say the fire is now out and they were at the scene for just over two and a half hours, arriving about three minutes after being dispatched.
Pa Cheng Vang, father and husband of the victims, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS as of Wednesday evening his family was still unconscious and battling smoke inhalation.
“I’m all over the place. I can’t really explain my feelings,” Vang said.
While Vang was working the night shift, he got the worst news a parent could receive.
“The police called me that my house was on fire, so I jumped right out to the car and came running here,” Vang said.
Vang said firefighters found his six kids between the ages of 1 and 6 and his wife unconscious in the home.
“It makes me feel sad because I used to kind of like wave at the little ones in the summertime,” Ken Jackson, neighbor, said.
Jackson woke up to the smoke and fire trucks lining the street.
“A group was outside looks like they’re giving mouth to mouth to someone that was laying down,” Jackson said.
Neighbors are hoping to see the family make it back home.
“I’m hoping for them to get well,” Jackson said.
The father is thankful to the heroes who rushed into the burning home to save his family.
“I’m really grateful for your help because without you, I wouldn’t see my family,” Vang said.
The Lor family released the following statement via Regions Hospital:
“Our family experienced a devastating fire Wednesday morning at our home. We want to thank the St. Paul Fire Department and other first responders for their selfless and brave efforts. Out of respect for our family’s privacy, no additional information will be provided at this time.”
The official cause of the fire has not yet been released, but investigators say it is not considered suspicious.
No first responders were injured.
A total of 63 firefighters responded, which included eight fire apparatus, eight EMS resources and three chief officers.
“A lot of things worked, just as we try to teach people, call 911 as early as you can to get those responders going quickly,” Dan Krier, Minnesota’s fire marshal, said about the fire response.
Krier also stressed the importance of the steps needed before an emergency calls are made: Make a plan in case there’s a fire.
“It’s really important to have that home escape plan to know how you’re going to get out. And then it’s really important to practice it,” Krier said. “Much like back to your childhood days of doing the fire drills in your schools, we want you to do fire drills at home so that you can practice how you will act under pressure.”
Helpful tools to make a fire escape plan can be found on the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s website.
The fire department’s news conference can be viewed below.