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.