Dad of 3 children killed during winter storm speaks out

Despite his grief, Nathan Nguyen wants to use his kids' story to help others. "If we can even save one life, that will be worthwhile," he told ABC13.

Video Transcript

SHELLY CHILDERS: Inside Nathan Nguyen's living room, it is easy to see his life was dedicated to his kids.

NATHAN NGUYEN: We painted here, we ate here, we played board games here.

SHELLY CHILDERS: The oldest, Olivia, loved to bake and had started playing chess.

NATHAN NGUYEN: I gave her some books on how to beat your dad at chess, that's the title of the book. And I asked her, have you been reading it? And she's like, yeah, I've been reading it. I was like, you're doing really good.

SHELLY CHILDERS: His only son, eight-year-old Edison, loved art, and recently discovered the game Dungeons and Dragons.

NATHAN NGUYEN: He just loved it. Would not stop talking to me about it. And it was just really happy to find something that he would like to do with me.

SHELLY CHILDERS: And then there was little Collette. Only small in stature, she was the star of the show.

NATHAN NGUYEN: She loved to entertain people. She would stop us during dinner and ask everybody to be quiet so she can sing her song about cranberries and strawberries and bananas, and put on a show for us.

SHELLY CHILDERS: Nathan and his wife Jackie are separated, living in different homes. The kids and their grandmother, Loan Le, died in the fire at their mother's home. They were asleep upstairs when the fire broke out. Nathan says he is taking grief one day at a time.

NATHAN NGUYEN: My family and the community and friends have been really there for me, and I think that's what has helped.

SHELLY CHILDERS: And then, of course, the pictures. The dozens of photos of these precious smiles, giggles, and sweet snuggles, he says have provided solace too. Over the past two days, tributes to the children have filled the halls of St. Lawrence Catholic Church and School where the siblings were enrolled.

- There's no words to say, to really comprehend.

SHELLY CHILDERS: Money raised from supporters around the country will be donated for tuition assistance here, and to the Sugarland Fire Department.

NATHAN NGUYEN: We would like to donate things like fire blankets, a ladder for the second floor, because that's where the kids were, and hopefully the fire department could help another family.

SHELLY CHILDERS: And when asked what his children would say to him now--

NATHAN NGUYEN: I know they would want me to know that they're OK, because that's how good they are, that they want me to be OK. They really cared about their parents.

SHELLY CHILDERS: Shelley Childers, ABC 13, Eyewitness News.