Muhlenberg Co. fire survivor remembers wife, children in spiritual celebration


by Alex Schuman

Posted on February 24, 2014 at 12:47 AM

Updated Monday, Feb 24 at 1:00 AM

MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (WHAS11) -- On the same stage where hundreds mourned the loss of nine members of the Watson family, Chad Watson, offered a message of celebration.

“I’m not up here to share with you blessed memories with my children,” said Watson.  “I’m up here to tell you what gave them life.  And that’s Jesus Christ.”

Hundreds again filled the Felix E. Martin Jr. Auditorium in Muhlenberg County High School to remember the eight children, and Watson’s wife, Nikki, who died in a fire last month.

Watson remembers everything about the night of the fire, and the moment he realized the fate his kids and wife may face.

“Asd Kylie and I waited for an ambulance to come,” he said.  “All I could think of was, ‘It’s being taken away.  They’re being taken home.  And the only one who can stop it is allowing it to happen.”

A black burn glove on Watson’s right hand was the only visible sign of injury.  Otherwise he walked up and down the stage as he delivered his message.

“I cannot believe he could stand up there and talk like he did,” said Patricia Bennett, who knows the family.  “He’s got strong faith.”

Watson believes this is part of God’s plan for him.

“Chad was so sincere,”  Kevin McKinney said.  “That’s not something anyone would soon forget.”

Watson wants people to celebrate their faith as much as his family’s lives.

“I have said over, and over, and over.  I will remember how my family lived.  I want people to remember how my family lived.  Not how they died.”

Watson also thanked everyone for their support, and hopes his family’s story brings others closer to God.