Update: Community Grieves After Nine Killed In House Fire

Reported by: Ellen Bryan
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Updated: 1/30 11:34 pm

People in Muhlenberg County held a vigil for the victims of an overnight fire in Greenville.

State Police said a mother and eight of her children died in that fire.

According to troopers, the victims are LaRae “Nikki” Watson, 35, Madison, 15, Kaitlyn, 14, Morgan, 13, Emily, 9, Samuel, 8, Raegan, 6 and twin brothers Mark and Nathaniel, 4.

Police said the father and a daughter, Chad Watson, 36 and Kylie, 11, both escaped.

“I don't know if they did that on their own or with assistance from emergency responders,” Trooper Stu Recke said.

Chad and Kylie were air lifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. A hospital spokesman said they are in critical, but stable condition.

“It’s a small community, small county. And everybody kinda knows everybody to some extent,” said neighbor Herald Mcelvain.

Investigators believe the fire started when an electric heater caught some material on fire in one of the three bedrooms.

Firefighters said they found eight of the family members together in the master bedroom. They said they were possibly trying to escape through a window there.

“We will never forget this,” Mcelvain said. “This is one of the biggest tragedies we've had here in Muhlenburg.”

Calvary Baptist Church set up two memorial funds for the family.

        - Old National Bank: Calvary Baptist Church Watson Family Fund
        - First Kentucky Bank: Watson Family Memorial Fund

Donations can be made at the banks.

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