Vigil held for mother, 8 children killed in house fire

MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - On Friday night, people in a devastated western Kentucky community came together to honor nine lives lost in a tragedy.

They took part in a vigil at a church for a mother and eight of her children, who died in a fire at their home.

Nikki Watson and the children died Thursday morning in Muhlenberg County.

The father, Chad Watson, and another child survived.

The sanctuary of Calvary Baptist Church in Central City was full of heavy hearts, with hugs and tears, and the singing of 'Amazing Grace.'

"She was my little rabbit," Mable Groves said of her niece, Nikki Watson. "Every time she got pregnant I'd say, 'My little rabbit is getting me some bunnies.'"

"We grew up in this church, Chad's my cousin, and so I've seen them grow this family that they loved," Melissa Bryant said.

Right in the front of the church where the Watson children could be seen playing after church on Sundays, stood nine white candles, each for a life lost, joined by two candles, representing Chad and his daughter Kylie as the only survivors.

"They had a great family, a great family," Calvary Baptist Church Pastor Tim Burden said.

"I want to wake up because it was a nightmare. I know I'm not going to wake up but I still have Nikki, Madison, McKenzie, Morgan, Kylie, Emily, Samuel, Nate, and Mark; they're going to be here forever. Even though they're up there, they're going to be here. They're going to be my Guardian Angels looking after me," Groves said.

Chad and Kylie continue to recover at a hospital in Nashville. It was told Friday night that Kylie has even been communicating by writing on a board.

The family is asking that people do not donate clothes, since they have no room to store them at this time.

They also cautioned against fake accounts set up for the family.

Instead, they encourage support go to the accounts set up at three bank locations in Muhlenberg County.

Those locations are the Commonwealth Community Bank at 340 Airport Road in Greenville, Old National Bank at P.O. Box 549 in Central City, and First Kentucky Bank at P.O. Box 110 in Central City.

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