Nine Family Members Confirmed Dead Following Muhlenberg County House Fire

Jan 30, 2014

Credit Lisa Autry

Updated at 3:20 pm

The nine victims of Thursday's Muhlenberg County house fire ranged in ages from 4 to 36 and included twin brothers.

Investigators with the Kentucky State Police and state fire marshal’s office say the fire was accidental and caused by an electric baseboard heater malfunction. 

Kentucky State Police spokesman Stu Recke confirmed the names of the nine family members who died in the fire that broke out around 2 a.m. in the town of Depoy.

“Eight of the victims were located together in a room close to the front of the house," said Recke. "The other victim, the ninth victim, was located approximately 10 to 15 feet away from them.” 

The victims are:

LaRae Watson, 36

Madison Watson, 15

Kaitlyn Watson, 14

Morgan Watson, 13

Emily Watson, 9

Samuel Watson, 8

Reagan Watson, 6

Mark Watson, 4

Nathaniel Watson, 4

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.

Neighbor Clarence Humphrey says he often saw the children playing outside. 

“My wife and I would walk the block ever so often during the summer," said Humphrey. "I’d pick at them, play with them, invited them to Bible school last summer and...they were just good people.” 

A local bank has set up a fund to help with the family’s funeral expenses.

UPDATE 1:43 pm

The scene where nine bodies were discovered following a house fire.
Credit Lisa Autry / WKYU

Three more bodies have been recovered at the scene of this morning's house fire in the small Muhlenberg County town of Depoy. Nine members of a family died in the blaze, with two--the father and a daughter--taken to a Nashville hospital.

Kentucky State Police have identified the father as 36-year-old Chad Watson. The daughter is an 11-year-old named Kylee.

WKU Public Radio's Lisa Autry is covering the story. 

“The final three bodies have been pulled from the home, now as far as the father and daughter that got out of the home, his name was Chad Watson and he was 36 years old, his daughter Kylie was 11," Autry reported. "And they were taken to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, their condition right now is unknown.

"I was able to speak with the neighbor Clarence Humprey who lives maybe 100 feet from the burned home," she said. "And he told me that the family of eleven was a very close-knit family, they were quiet, they kept to themselves, but a hard-working family, the father was a part-time preacher, and just really good people. He always enjoyed seeing the kids ride their bikes or play on the swing set." 

Original Post:

An early morning house fire in Muhlenberg County is feared to have claimed the lives of nine family members.

The fire broke out around 2 a.m. in the community of Depoy, just outside of Greenville.

WKU Public Radio's Lisa Autry, who is covering the story in Muhlenberg County, says first responders got to the house shortly after the blaze was reported.

"They were able to be on the scene in a matter of minutes. But when they got there, the house was fully engulfed. It's a small-frame white house--doesn't look very big for a family of 11 people," reported Autry.

"We know that there was a mother and father and nine children. We know that the father was able to get out of the house, as well as one of the female children," she said. "They have recovered six bodies, and are now looking for three victims--three bodies inside the house."

The two survivors have been taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

Investigators are on the scene in an effort to determine the cause of the fire.