"We don't want to forget the Watsons and Chad and Kylie and those they lost in the fire, but we do have to go on and I think something like this helps," said Dan Pentimone.
MUHLENBERG CO., Ky. (WBKO) A house fire took the lives of nine members of the Watson family on January 30th.
Today, more than 500 people gathered at Muhlenberg County High School's West Campus to say one last goodbye.
"We don't want to forget the Watsons and Chad and Kylie and those they lost in the fire, but we do have to go on and I think something like this helps," said Dan Pentimone, the family's previous pastor in Kansas City.
It was a site no one ever wanted to see -- nine caskets lined up -- a mother, Nikki, and eight of her children, Madison, Kaitlyn, Morgan, Emily, Samuel, Raegan, Mark and Nathaniel.
"You think it's just a dream, but when you go inside, you know it's real. Those little angels did not deserve this -- they just didn't deserve it," said Charlotte Groves, the neighbor who called 911 the night of the fire.
The father, Chad, and daughter Kylie, got out in time.
"He tried to go back in there two or three more times. He told us the fire was so hot, every time he tried, he got burned," Groves said.
Still recovering, they watched the service online in the hospital. Kylie even picked out the flowers.
"And she did a good job," Groves said.
Tears fell as people said goodbye, but there were also smiles and laughs as they remembered the good times spent together.
"Close-knit, loving family. They really did a lot of things together. They really stayed together and the children played a lot together with one another," Pentimone said.
Everyone said Nikki was a good mom and hard-working, loving "Proverbs 31" woman.
"Nikki Watson was all about the kids, she would have died for them and she did," said Rev. Brad St. Clair, who spoke at the service.
Chad and Nikki wanted a big family, and they got one.
"The children were well-behaved, highly intelligent, disciplined, very loving," said Rev. Adam Brown, Chad's first cousin.
At the end of the service, Rev. Scott Casebier shared the gospel of Jesus Christ and said several hands went up around the room representing new believers. He said that's what the family would have hoped would come from the tragedy -- sharing their faith with everyone.
"The true power of this obscure moment is having eternal impact on people around the world," Rev. St. Clair said.
After the service, people lined the streets, releasing balloons as the funeral procession went by, celebrating each life.
The nine Watsons were laid to rest at Oak Grove Cemetery.
Funeral costs have been taken care of by Tucker Funeral Home and the Band Perry.