TX Fire Chief Remembered as 'Remarkable Leader'

Nov. 27, 2023
Forest Bend Fire Chief John Norris died after assisting at a house fire on Saturday.

Funeral services for a beloved Houston area fire chief are set for Saturday.

Forest Bend Fire Chief John Norris collapsed at home Saturday after returning from a house fire in Friendswood.

He was rushed to HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake Hospital where he died.

Firefighters and EMS crews from Forest Bend, Friendswood, League City, Webster and Pearland formed a wall of honor behind the hospital as his flag-draped body was transported to the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office, Fox 26 reported. 

A firefighter with the department for 18 years, he as promoted to chief in September.

Last year, he retired as a captain with the Houston Fire Department.

His wife, Wendy Chang Norris, is the CEO of Texas Line of Duty Task Force. During her tenure, she has helped the families of fallen firefighters.

Forest Bend Assistant Chief Roy Hunter remembered Norris as a "remarkable leader" who was all about training.

"He was a fireman's firefighter," Hunter said, adding that he was right there with his crews leading them -- just as he had hours before he died. 

Hunter said firefighters will move forward and continue his work ethic. "It's what he would have wanted."

A celebration of life will be held this Saturday, Dec. 2 at New Hope Church in Friendswood. Visitation will be from 10-110 a.m.  The service will be begin at 11.

A reception at the Friendswood Fire Department, Station 1 will immediately follow.