Nathan Nguyen, father of 3 killed in Sugar Land house fire, shares memories and anguish
The children, Olivia Nguyen, 11, Edison Nguyen, 8, and Colette Nguyen, 5, along with their grandmother Loan Le, died on February 16 as a winter storm crippled Texas.
Investigators say they believe the family was using the fireplace to stay warm after losing power the night before.
“We really want to shed some light on what happened. If we can even save a life, it will be worth it. So I hope they can give us an answer,” said Nathan Nguyen, the father. children.
He and their mother, Jackie, are separated and live in different houses.
Nathan tells ABC13 that he has spent the past two weeks absorbing the shock, grief and anger over their deaths and waits until he finds the strength to seek answers.
“The anger is there, you know,” Nathan said. “Just because it’s always like, ‘Why did this happen?'”
The family were asleep when the fire broke out.
Investigators say a neighbor called 911 around 2 a.m., and when firefighters arrived at the scene, flames erupted from the roof.
The house was destroyed and the mother of the children, Jackie Pham Nguyen, and a friend were injured in the fire.
Two weeks later, Nathan says the pain of grief remains a roller coaster for him.
He opened his home to ABC13, sharing memories, the struggle of grief and the sequel for his children’s legacy.
“My family, the community and my friends have really been there for me, and I think that’s what helped me,” he explained, explaining how he finds comfort.
And then, of course, there are pictures.
“While I may still feel that their time on Earth was cut short, I take comfort in the fact that each of you was absolutely perfect in every way.”
Heartbreaking words from Olivia’s mother, Edison and Colette Nguyen. Siblings died on February 17 in a house fire during power outages pic.twitter.com/UVFl1xnznn
– Shelley Childers (@ shelleyabc13) March 3, 2021
Nathan and Jackie shared dozens of photos of their children’s precious smiles, giggles and sweet hugs a family site.
He says these tangible images have also brought comfort.
Olivia, the eldest, loved to cook, embrace her Vietnamese heritage and recently discovered chess, Nathan said.
“I gave him a few books on how to beat your dad at chess. That’s the title of the book,” Nathan said. “And I asked her if she had read it. And she said, ‘Yes, I read it.’ I was like, ‘You’re doing great.’ “He said the last match he played with her was a chess match in which she almost beat him for the first time.
Their only son, Edison, 8, loved art and recently took over the game Dungeons and Dragons, Nathan said.
“He loved it and kept telling me about it,” Nathan recalls. “I was really happy to find something he could do with me.”
And then there was little Colette. Even though she was short, she was the star of the show.
“She loved to entertain people,” Nathan said. “She would stop us during dinner and ask everyone to be quiet so she could sing her song about cranberries, strawberries and bananas and, you know, put on a show for us.”
Over the past few days, tributes to children filled the halls of St. Laurence Catholic Church and School in Sugar Land where siblings were enrolled.
From the start, Nathan and Jackie created separate GoFundMe accounts with the goal of creating foundations in honor of the children.
Nathan says the money raised from supporters across the country will go to the St. Laurence Catholic School Tuition Assistance Fund and to help the Sugar Land Fire Department with pledge and support. public education tools.
“We would like to donate things like fire blankets, a ladder for the second floor because that’s where the kids were, and I hope the firefighters could help another family,” Nathan said.
“I know they would like me to know they’re okay, because that’s how they are good,” Nathan said when asked what he thought his kids might say. today. “That they want me to be okay. They really cared about their parents.
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