Mother, 8 children die in Kentucky house fire - WKRN News 2

Mother, 8 children die in Kentucky house fire

Posted: Updated: Jan 30, 2014 04:40 PM CST

A mother and eight of her children died in a house fire in Greenville, Kentucky early Thursday morning.

The fire broke out around 2 a.m. at the home of Chad and LaRae Watson. The couple lived in the home with their nine children, ages four to 15.

The father, 36, and one child, Kylie Watson, 11, were flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville with severe burns.  They were listed in critical but stable condition Thursday.

All nine bodies, including 35-year-old LaRae, 15-year-old Madison Watson, 14-year-old Kaitlyn Watson, 13-year-old Morgan Watson, nine-year-old Emily Watson, eight-year-old Samuel Watson, six-year-old Raegan Watson and four-year-old twins, Mark and Nathaniel Watson, were recovered from the home by 1 p.m.

Greenville is located in Muhlenberg County about 90 miles northwest of Nashville. The family's home is a total loss.

Neighbor Laura Bennett said Samuel, who went by "Sammy," had played with her daughter inside her home just Wednesday night.

Bennett told News 2 the Watsons struggled financially and neither parent worked.

She recently bought Sammy a new coat and Wednesday night he told her how it's kept him warm and that he was thankful.

Bennett did not know the parents well, but did say her husband helped the family with at-home projects.

The family attended Calvary Baptist Church in Central City, Kentucky.

Deacon Wayne Bryant told Nashville's News 2 he last saw LaRae during their Wednesday night church service.

"She was here last night. She talked to the pastor's wife and the last thing she said was she was going home. She truly went home," he said.

Bryant said the tragedy is nearly unimaginable.

"There's no describing it. There's just a void," he said.

According to the church's Facebook page, donations to the surviving family members can be made to the Calvary Baptist Church Watson Family Fund at Old National Bank and Commonwealth Community Bank, or the Watson Family Memorial Fund at First Kentucky Bank.

Fire officials said late Thursday afternoon the cause of the fire was combustible material against an electric baseboard heater.

A vigil for the eight children and their mother were held on Friday. Those who knew and loved the victims gathered together at the family's church to share their memories.

The husband and one of their children survived, both remain in the burn unit at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Flags at the schools where the children were students were flown at half-staff on Friday.

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