Teacher, family killed in Colbert County house fire

The state marshal's office is investigating the fire

Posted: Sep 24, 2021 10:02 AM
Updated: Sep 27, 2021 2:02 PM

Colbert County Coroner Justin Gasque has confirmed the identities of the three victims in a fatal house fire Thursday in Colbert County.

They are Brandon Norris, 28; Jordan Norris, 25; and their 3-year-old daughter, Marleigh Norris. 

Crews respond to a fatal fire in Ford City in Colbert County

Jordan Norris was a third-grade teacher at Cherokee Elementary School in the Colbert County school system. Superintendent Chris Hand released this statement Friday:

“With broken hearts, we mourn the loss of a beloved teacher and her family. Early Thursday morning we learned that Mrs. Jordan Norris, a third-grade teacher at Cherokee Elementary School, along with her husband and daughter, passed away in a tragic house fire.

"Mrs. Norris was a graduate of Colbert County High School. She completed her student teaching in the Colbert County school system and was employed as a full-time elementary teacher shortly thereafter.

"Mrs. Norris taught two years at Leighton Elementary School alongside her mother, who has taught there for many years. Mrs. Norris was currently teaching at Cherokee Elementary.

"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.

"We have implemented our crisis plan to address the emotional needs of our staff and students at both Cherokee and Leighton elementary schools. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Norris family during this very difficult time.“

Cherokee and Leighton elementary schools closed Friday due to the tragedy.

The house fire was reported about 8 a.m. on Mount Pleasant Road near Ford City, east of Muscle Shoals. The state fire marshal's office is handling an investigation into the cause of the fire, which killed three.

Nitrate City Volunteer Fire Chief Kelly Aday told WAAY 31 the home was fully engulfed when they arrived on scene. Multiple volunteer firefighters responded to the call.

He said it's been a tough day for them, other first responders and the families.

"They are all shook up," Aday said. "We're all local. Most of my guys know the family, so that makes it a little tougher. The community has come out in a big way to be here for the family and here for us."

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