Cause of death revealed for victims in Muhlenberg Co fire - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Cause of death revealed for victims in Muhlenberg Co fire

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Nikki Watson and eight of her children were killed in the fire. (Source: Calvary Baptist Church) Nikki Watson and eight of her children were killed in the fire. (Source: Calvary Baptist Church)

MUHLENBERG COUNTY, KY (WAVE) – Autopsies were concluded one day after a mother and eight of her children were killed in a fire.

According to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Madisonville Nikki Watson, 35, her daughters Madison, 15, Kaitlyn, 14, Morgan, 13, Emily, 9, and Raegan, 6, and sons, Samuel, 8, and 4-year-old twins Mark and Nathaniel, died as a result of smoke inhalation.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Muhlenberg County house fire kills mother, 8 children]

Husband and father Chad Watson, 36, and daughter Kylie, 11, were able to escape and were flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. As of Friday afternoon both remained in critical, but stable, condition.

At the home where the fire started investigators continued to comb the scene as the tight- knit community grieved.

Residents spoke about how kind Chad Watson is and how loving his children were.

[PREVIOUS STORY: 9 killed in Ky. fire described as a loving family]

Jennifer Rowly, a relative of the Watson's said, "Everybody just needs to pray for these little children, nothing else matters the community needs to come together to help this family."

She and a friend stopped by to put up a pink wreath remembering the large family who called the charred structure home.

Chief Duane Harvey lives down the block from the scene.

[SLIDESHOW: House catches fire killing 9 in Muhlenberg County]

"You couldn't drive down the street without seeing the children, it's a tragedy for the entire community," he said.

It took Harvey just six minutes to get to the home after the call about the fire came in around 2 a.m. Thursday. When he arrived flames were already shooting from the windows.

"The heat was intense from the street, that's where I met the two victims that was lucky enough to get out of the house," he said.

Those victims were Chad and Kylie Watson. Harvey said they were injured and frantic. The chief knew there were more children inside.

"Most first responders are parents and that just turned the intensity on," Harvey said.

Volunteer firefighters made it to the fire within 12 minutes, but it was too late. The home was old and made of wood. The state Fire Marshal said  flammable materials left too close to a baseboard heater started the fire.

A vigil for the Watson family will be held at Central City's Missionary Baptist at 7 p.m. CST Friday.

Funeral arrangements for the family will be held at Tucker Funeral Home, located at 113 North Third Street in Central City, Kentucky.

Memorial funds for the Watson family have been established at First Kentucky Bank and Old National Bank.

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