WLKY has learned country music group The Band Perry will cover the funeral expenses for nine people killed in a house fire in Muhlenberg County on Thursday.
Calvary Baptist Church Pastor Tim Burden confirmed Saturday that the trio will pay for the funerals for Nikki Watson and eight of her children who died in the fire.
A gathering was held at the Central City church Friday night to mourn the mother and children lost in the fire, and to pray for the father and daughter who survived.
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As candles were lit and songs were sung, Chad Watson's cousin thanked those gathered for their support. And then he gave a heartbreaking update on his family. Chad, he said, is in very, very critical condition. The skin on his hands and face is completely gone. And then there's 11-year-old Kylie. She woke up briefly Friday and wrote on a wipe board, "Are me and my daddy the only ones that are okay?"
The vigil lasted just about 30 minutes and brought together hundreds to pray for the Watsons. Nikki Watson and eight of her children were killed Thursday morning after a baseboard heater caught the family's Depoy, Ky., home on fire.
Friday night those gathered prayed for healing and peace for the father and daughter that survived. Those in attendance said they came not only for the Watson family, but to begin their own healing process.
"The family needs all the support they can get, whether it's through prayers, friendship, love, whatever. It's just our way of showing we care for them," said community member Margaret Romans.
"You know, it's heartbreaking. It helps us, too, to be here with everybody, it helps," said neighbor Warren Bennett.
"This room is full of love and compassion for the family and it makes it easier," said community member Kenny Bruce.
Kentucky State Police said Friday that Nikki Watson and the eight children who were killed all died of smoke inhalation. Police said they were all found in the master bedroom, which, they say, is an indication they were trying to escape through a window.
Calvary Baptist Church, where the vigil was held, is the same church where Nikki and Chad Watson met, fell in love, got married and eventually began bringing their family to worship every Sunday.
The pastor said it was only fitting the community gather there Friday night to pray for the Watson family.