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Texas fire chief suffers heart attack after structure fire

Forest Bend Fire Chief John Norris was with other firefighters fighting a blaze in Friendswood

By Bill Carey

WEBSTER, Texas — The Forest Bend Fire Department announced the death of Fire Chief John Norris on Nov. 25.

Norris died of an apparent heart attack at home after helping battle a structure fire in Friendswood, Click 2 Houston reported.

“With profound sorrow, the Forest Bend Fire Department extends its deepest condolences to announce the passing of our cherished Chief, John Norris. Today, we mourn the loss of a remarkable leader whose impact on our department will forever be remembered and honored,” the fire department stated on Facebook.

Norris and other Forest Bend firefighters were assisting the Friendswood Fire Department in fighting a fire involving an abandoned house scheduled for demolition within the next few weeks. When Norris returned home after the fire, he suffered what appears to have been a heart attack.

He was transported to HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake Hospital, where he died. A state task force is investigating his death.

Norris worked for the Houston Fire Department for 32 years and left in 2022. He was a member of the Forest Bend Fire Department for 18 years and became chief in September.

Norris is survived by his wife, Wendy, a fire department chaplain and public information officer, and their daughter.