Grieving St. Paul community mourns 4-year-old killed in fire


A grieving St. Paul community gathered on Sunday night for a vigil at Hmong House in honor of 4-year-old Chialia Yang after a horrible fire took her life last week. With only two days notice, over 300 people filled the venue. Among the guests were Hmong generals, and 18 Hmong clan leaders.

Chialia was captured on video playing with her little sister just one hour before the fire broke out, devastating her family (and her father who managed to rescue several other family members, but couldn't find his little daughter.)

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Peter Yang, Chialia's father, rescued 6 of his family members from 595 Jessamine Avenue East, but couldn't find little Chialia. St. Paul firefighters were able to rescue her from under a bed in an upstairs bedroom, but she had suffered serious smoke inhalation and later died at Regions Hospital.

"We want you to go on, you have many children, you have many children to live for, you have great friends like us, you have the Hmong community as your backbone," event organizer Salina Vang said.

Chialia's funeral is scheduled for Thursday at Gong Hong funeral chapel on Arcade Street in St. Paul. The City Council has passed a resolution to honor Yang's bravery.

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