COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT/WNCN) — Volunteer firefighters spent much of Thursday on the scene of a house fire on Mt. Pleasant Road in the Ford City Community, east of Muscle Shoals.
While it took only more than a half-hour to extinguish the flames, three lives were tragically lost, 28-year-old Brandon Norris, his wife 25-year-old Jordan Norris, and their 3-year-old daughter Marleigh.
Jordan Norris was a third-grade teacher at Cherokee Elementary School and previously taught at Leighton Elementary alongside her mother.
Jordan Norris was also a graduate of Colbert County High School and even completed her student teaching with the Colbert County school system.
Because of the family’s close ties to the community, Colbert County Schools Superintendent Chris Hand closed both Leighton and Cherokee elementary schools Friday to give students and faculty time to grieve the loss.
Hand said, “she was greatly loved and admired by her coworkers and students. Mrs. Norris was very friendly and outgoing. She never met a stranger and always gave her best effort in teaching and working with students in the after-school program.”
Kristen Norris, sister of Brandon Norris, wrote on Facebook about the loss of close family members.
“My brother was one of a kind. He was the best brother a girl could ask for and the best uncle to my kids,” Kristen Norris wrote. “My niece she was my everything — she was three years old and had her whole life ahead of her. And Jordan she was my fav of all times Brandon ever dated and then he married her and he had his family complete.”
Officials said the school system has implemented a crisis plan to address the emotional needs of the staff and students at both elementary schools.
The Alabama Fire Marshal’s Office continues to investigate what caused the fire, but at this time, no foul play is suspected.
A GoFundMe site has been set up to help with funeral expenses.