house fire

Don't Forget to Spring Ahead This Weekend

Mar 7, 2014

State fire marshal offices are reminding residents to inspect their smoke alarms, especially the batteries, when they turn their clocks ahead one hour Saturday night. Tennessee Commissioner Julie McPeak says people should change their batteries in their smoke alarms just to be on the safe side.

She also urges everyone to consider the age of their smoke alarms. McPeak says alarms, even those that are hard wired, should have their batteries replaced regularly and should be tested monthly to ensure they are providing the proper protection. Any smoke alarm that is ten years old or older should be replaced entirely.

Statistics show nearly two-thirds of all home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or with ones that aren't in proper working order.

Lisa Autry

For the first time since a house fire killed his wife and eight of his nine children, Chad Watson shared his story Sunday, just days after leaving the hospital and returning home to Muhlenberg County. 

A packed auditorium at Muhlenberg County High School sang worship songs and joined in prayer, but when Chad Watson took the stage, you could hear the proverbial pin drop. 

With his burned hands still bandaged, Watson said as the father of nine healthy and vibrant children, he considered himself the most blessed man on earth.

"That night as Kylie and I waited for an ambulance to come, all I could think of was 'It's being taken away,' and the only one who can stop it is allowing it to happen," Watson said passionately.

He choked back tears, but otherwise the preacher by trade was right at home as he read scripture and spoke of his unwavering faith in God in the most trying time.

“He is the one, no matter what happens, no matter what we think He should have done, no matter what we think He could have done, no matter what we think of His plan, He is the only one that has any true comfort to offer," Watson told the audience.

A father and daughter who were injured in a tragic house fire that killed nine other family members returned home Saturday to a community parade.

Chad and 11 year old Kylie Watson arrived in Greenville to signs, balloons and cheers from well-wishers. The parade ended at Calvary Baptist Church in Central City, where there was a celebration for their return.

Kylie and her father were injured on January 30 when some type of combustible material fell against a baseboard heater in a bedroom. the blaze killed La Rae "Nikki" Watson and eight of her children aged 4 to 15.

Lisa Autry

Several hundred mourners filed into Muhlenberg County High School Saturday to remember a mother and her eight children who died in a house fire. 

Among them was Charlotte Groves, who had a firsthand account of the tragedy.

“I lived next door to them, I’m the one who called 911,” she said.

Charlotte Groves was awakened in the middle of the night on January 30 to screams coming from her neighbor’s home engulfed in flames.  Chad Watson and his 11-year-old daughter Kylie escaped the burning home, but his wife Larae and his eight other children did not.

“He kept it together for his daughter.  He kept saying 'God is a good God, they're in a better place.'  He was remarkable,” said Groves.  “He tried to go back in there three times but he told us the fire was so hot every time he tried, he got burnt.”

Inside Muhlenberg County High School, nine closed white caskets were lined up on the stage of a packed auditorium.  Propped up on easels behind the caskets were large pictures of each family member: 36-year-old LaRae Watson, and her children, 15-year-old Madison; 14-year-old Kaitlyn; 13-year old Morgan; 9-year old Emily; 8-year-old Samuel; 6-year-old Raegan; and 4-year-old twins Mark and Nathaniel.

“In the 27 years I’ve been in the ministry, I’ve never had anything that has devastated me and touched me anymore than this,” said Tim Burden.

Nine family members are dead and a community is in shock following a Thursday morning house fire in Muhlenberg County.

Investigators with the state fire marshal's office and Kentucky State Police say the fire was accidental and caused by combustible materials coming into contact with an electric baseboard heater. The fire at the home in Depoy was first reported shortly after  2 a.m.

The blaze took the lives of 36-year-old mother LaRae Watson, and eight of her children: 15-year-old Madison; 14-year-old Kaitlyn; 13-year old Morgan; 9-year old Emily; 8-year-old Samuel; 6-year-old Reagan; and 4-year-old twin brothers Mark and Nathaniel.

“Eight of the victims were located together in a room close to the front of the house," Kentucky State Police spokesman Stu Recke told reporters. "The other victim—the ninth victim—was located approximately ten to 15 feet away from them.”

Two family members survived the fire and were transferred to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. The father—36-year-old Chad Watson—was listed in critical but stable condition. His daughter—11-year-old Kylie Watson—was listed in stable condition.

Funeral services have been set for a woman and five children killed in a house fire in Knox County, Kentucky.

Services for 22-year-old Nina Asher and her three children, 3-year-old William Gray Jr., 2-year-old Camden Gray and 8-month-old Abigail Gray are at 2 p.m. EDT Saturday at Antioch Baptist Church in Woollum. Visitation is scheduled for Friday from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the church.

Services for 2-year-old Paiten Cox and 2-year-old Brielle Cox are at 2 p.m. Thursday at Vankirk-Grisell Funeral Home in Corbin with burial at Brafford Cemetery.

The Cox sisters were staying with Asher at a house in Gray when the building caught fire Saturday morning. Investigators have not yet determined the cause.

Services for Asher's fiancé, Jesse Disney, are Thursday in Corbin.

An engaged couple and five children killed in a weekend house fire in southern Kentucky died from smoke inhalation, investigators said Tuesday as they worked to determine the cause of the blaze.

Trooper Shane Jacobs said those who died Saturday in the blaze in the Knox County community of Gray were 27-year-old Jesse Disney; his fiancée, 22-year-old Nina Asher; her three children, 3-year-old William Gray Jr., 2-year-old Camden Gray and 8-month-old Abigail Gray; and two family friends, 2-year-old Paiten Cox and 2-year-old Brielle Cox.

Paiten Cox would have been 3-years-old on March 23. The Cox children were friends of the family who were spending the night.

Investigators were trying to pinpoint the cause of the fire and have said it could take some time before the cause is determined. Jacobs said autopsies were done Monday.

Five Children, Two Adults Die in Kentucky House Fire

Mar 10, 2013

Fire erupted Saturday at a rural Kentucky home, killing two adults and five children inside, a coroner said.

Knox County Coroner Mike Blevins said Saturday afternoon that the adult victims found inside the ranch-style home were a woman and her boyfriend. The woman was the mother of three of the children who died, while two other children were from another family, he said.

Further details about their identities were being withheld until relatives were notified.

The remains were sent to Frankfort for autopsies, which were likely to take place on Tuesday, Blevins said.

Kevin Willis

A series of storms that moved through the region Thursday night caused several fires, including one that killed two people in Louisville. WLKY-TV reported the fire broke out in the middle of thunderstorms last night. Neighbors told arriving firefighters two people were still inside the home.