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Texas mom seeks fire safety awareness after death of 3 kids

February 23, 2021 GMT
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Jackie Nguyen looks out through a window Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, in Houston. Nguyen lost her three children, Olivia, 11, Edison, 8, and Colette Nguyen, 5, along with their grandmother Loan Le in a fire in Sugar Land, Texas, during the winter freeze Tuesday. Nguyen says she is staying strong because she wants people to know of her children and to build something that could be their legacy since their lives were cut short. (Marie D. De Jesús/Houston Chronicle via AP)
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Jackie Nguyen looks out through a window Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, in Houston. Nguyen lost her three children, Olivia, 11, Edison, 8, and Colette Nguyen, 5, along with their grandmother Loan Le in a fire in Sugar Land, Texas, during the winter freeze Tuesday. Nguyen says she is staying strong because she wants people to know of her children and to build something that could be their legacy since their lives were cut short. (Marie D. De Jesús/Houston Chronicle via AP)

HOUSTON (AP) — A Houston-area woman whose mother and three children were killed last week during the state’s widespread power outages says she hopes to use money from a fundraising campaign to increase awareness about fire safety.

Jackie Nguyen, 41, said that amid frigid conditions she was using a fireplace to keep the family warm in their home in Sugar Land, Texas.

Nguyen, the only survivor from her house fire, lost her three kids, Olivia, 11, Edison, 8, and Colette Nguyen, 5, and her mother, the children’s grandmother, Loan Le, on Feb. 16, the Houston Chronicle reported.

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Sugar Land firefighters responded to a fire at around 2 a.m. at the family’s red-brick home engulfed in flames. The fire was reported by a neighbor, said Doug Adolph, a city spokesman.

“Obviously they were trying to stay warm,” Adolph said at the time. “We can’t say that’s what the cause was, we just think we know they were using a fireplace.”

Nearly a week after the fire, there are no updates on the investigation into the cause of the blaze.

Nguyen said she hopes to use the money fundraised by her school community at Rice University where she expects to finish her MBA program, to honor her children and either start a foundation or give contributions to existing charities.

Her family also launched a GoFundMe page with the “aim to to create a foundation in the children’s honor to provide tuition assistance at St. Laurence Catholic School and to raise awareness about fire safety.”

The separate fundraisers had taken in a total of more than $528,000 as of Monday evening.