A man who lost his wife, 5-year-old son and mother-in-law in a fatal house fire on Thursday has opened his eyes for the first time since the tragedy.
Kailesh Thanabalasingham has been in an induced coma in Middlemore Hospital, still unaware his wife, Bhamini Theiventhiran, five-year-old son and mother-in-law died in a tragic house fire.
Thanabalasingham, a prominent New Zealand refugee advocate, suffered extensive burns in the blaze.
Family spokeswoman Deborah Manning said Thanabalasingham opened his eyes today.
"Some of Kailesh's family came from overseas today and they came in to see him and he opened his eyes, which was great" she said.
"So that was very encouraging to them and to everyone in the waiting room, because there's still a full waiting room of people there with their prayers and support for him and his family."
However, he remains in a critical condition.
Thanabalasingham's 11-year-old daughter and 69-year-old father-in-law escaped the fire in the south Auckland suburb of Flat Bush the the early hours of Thursday.
Canadian-based family members started arriving in New Zealand yesterday to support him and his family.
Family friend Sri Gunasingam said Thanabalasingham's and her grandfather were staying with him and were struggling with their loss.
"His daughter his with me she is ok, she is crying on and off, it is very hard, so unexpected," Gunasingham said.
The injured father-in-law and his wife who died in the blaze were Canadian citizens.
Thanabalasingham is currently an executive officer of the Refugee Council of New Zealand and has dedicated his life in this country helping the most vulnerable new citizens.
A Givealittle page set up to help the family has raised over $64,000.