Hundreds Gather To Remember Mother, 8 Children Killed In Fire
by Chris Conte
CENTRAL CITY, KY. - Hundreds of people huddled together inside a central Kentucky church Friday night for a vigil to remember eight children and their mother who died in a merciless fire early Thursday morning.
Officials said 35-year-old Nikki Watson and her children 15-year-old Madison Watson, 14-year-old Kaitlyn Watson, 13-year-old Morgan Watson, 9-year-old Emily Watson, 8-year-old Samuel Watson, 6-year-old Raegan Watson, and 4-year-old twin brothers Mark and Nathaniel Watson were all killed in the blaze.
The only members of the Watson family who survived were their father Chad and middle sister, 11-year-old Kylie.
At the vigil Friday, family told the crowd that Chad had severe burns over most of his body, including his face and hands. He's listed in critical condition at Vanderbilt University Hospital where a cousin said he is still touch and go. They believe most of his injuries came as he tried to run back inside his burning house in Greenville to try and save his family.
As for 11-year-old Kylie, who also survived, those who attended Friday's vigil learned she was awake for part of the day and managed to write down on a white boar "Are me and my dad the only ones who made it?"
"Kylie went from being a child of, a house full of kids to being on her own and that's going to be tough for her, it's tough for all of us to understand," said Melissa Bryant, a cousin of the Watson family. "It just doesn't seem real, there's nothing about this that's easy to understand."
Officials in Muhlenberg County believe all nine of the Watson family members who died were killed by smoke inhalation.
The cause of the fire was ruled accidental after officials said some type of material brushed up against an electric baseboard heater.
A fund has been setup for the family at three area banks: First Kentucky Bank, Old National and Commonwealth Community Bank.