Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


February 3, 2014

Grim reminder

There are lessons for all of us in the aftermath of deadly fire

FRANKFORT — A tragic fire that killed a mother and eight of her children in the southwestern Kentucky town of Greenville provides a grim reminder of the need to use caution when heating homes during cold weather.

The bodies of the mother and eight children were found huddled together in or near a master bedroom, victims of an early-morning fire Thursday from which only the father and an 11-year-old daughter escaped after it ripped through the modest home.

The fire started accidentally with combustible material against an electric heater in a bedroom, said Kentucky State Police Trooper Stu Recke.

On extremely cold nights like we have been experiencing lately, electric heaters may be necessary to keep some portions of a house warm, but when using them, caution must be taken to make sure than no combustible materials are touching or even near the heaters. We know from experience how quickly a blanket, newspaper or items of clothing thoughtlessly left near a heater can burst into flames. Fortunately the fires we have witnessed that were started by heaters were quickly brought under control, but the speed in which the fire erupted was enough to teach us to use more caution.

The dead mother, LaRae “Nikki” Watson, was only 35 while her children who died in the fire ranged in age from 4 to 15.

We can’t imagine the grief the father and surviving sibling must be going through, as well as friends, school classmates, and everyone else in a community where one neighbor said “everyone knew each other.” But if any good can come from this tragedy it is to remind us all that electric heaters can be deadly if not used carefully.

Text Only
  • Deadline is near

    People with Kentucky driver’s licenses may soon be required to show a passport or some other accepted form of federal identification to enter “restricted” or “semi-restricted” areas of federal facilities, including federal courthouses, military bases, federal prisons and a wide range of other federal offices.

    July 23, 2014

  • Issue is safety

    The Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s Board of Control has recommended softball  “players at first base, third base and pitcher utilize the permissive requirement in the playing rules and wear face/head protection.”

    July 23, 2014

  • More difficult

    In a state like Kentucky with the number of adults who have not graduated from high school is much higher than the national average, undereducated adults have been encouraged to earn high-school equivalency degrees by studying for, taking and passing the General Educational Development (GED) test.

    May 22, 2014

  • Primary election sends messages

    The voters — or at least the minority who took the time to go to the polls Tuesday — have spoken, with Boyd County voters sending mixed messages in the county-wide races that gathered the most attention.

    May 21, 2014

  • Click it or Ticket

    "Click it or Ticket” is a phrase used so often in recent years most of us hardly give it a thought.

    May 21, 2014

  • Top trooper

    Thumbs up to Trooper First Class Shane Goodall of Flatwoods for being named 2013 Trooper of the Year for Kentucky.

    May 20, 2014

  • 05/18/2014 — This Week in the Tri-State

    Local news

    May 18, 2014

  • 0518greene.jpeg Greene-Lounsberry

    John and Eva Greene of Greenup are proud to announce the engagement of their daughter, Stacey Nicole Greene, to Jonathan Wesley Lounsberry.

    May 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Business grant

    Morehead State graduate student Kayla Keeton, who received her undergraduate degree from MSU last spring and is now studying for her MBA at the school, has received a $5,111 grant from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development to help her start Belles of the Bluegrass, a high-tech wedding planning business.

    May 16, 2014

  • Recovery Fest celebrates kicking addiction

    The wet weather no doubt impacted the size of the crowd at Saturday’s Recovery Fest 2014 at Veterans Riverfront Park in Ashland, but there were plenty of reasons for addicts who are now drug free to celebrate and for speakers like State Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, and others to talk about the impact the prescription drug epidemic has had on this region and for others to distribute literature and offer words of encouragement that could convince some to seek help in their battle with their drug addictions.

    May 13, 2014