Community rallies around couple after house fire

Published 3:02 pm Friday, November 20, 2015

Two of the most recognizable faces at the Butler County Farmer’s Market lost everything they owned in a flash.  But a close-knit community is aiming to replace it just as quickly.

Linda Norris and her husband, Dan Norris, lost their Honoraville home to a house fire on Nov. 9.

Linda and Dan were getting their supplies ready for what would’ve been the next day’s farmer’s market, and were about to head home to eat lunch when they realized their house was engulfed in flames.

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The house had been for some time before the couple arrived to the scene. They may never fully know what started the blaze.  But they have an idea.

“It’s really hard to tell, but from all accounts it started up in the corner where an air conditioner was plugged in, but not on,” said Linda Norris.

“They’re just assuming it was electrical.”

The couple called the house home for 38 years.

Linda said that 38 years’ worth of belongings disappearing in a flash was a difficult fact to reconcile.

“You just can’t imagine… it’s just an awful feeling knowing you’ve lost everything you’ve worked for all of your life,” she said. “Your first thing is shock, and then you kind of start working on it from there.”

Fortunately, the tragedy united the small community of Honoraville and others as several close friends and family made donation after donation to the family’s cause.

“Everybody has been absolutely wonderful,” she said. “It just feels great knowing that people do care.

“We were fortunate with a place to stay.  My husband’s brother has a house right next door that they don’t live in, so we moved in here and we’ve been overrun with donations — clothes, appliances, furniture, money… everybody has just been great.”

Two funds have also been set up to help the family recover.  Donations can be made to the Linda and Dan Norris fund at any branch of First Citizens Bank in Greenville, Fort Deposit, Highland Home or Luverne.

Additionally, a GoFundMe website was built that can be accessed at

Though the loss has been devastating for the family, Linda said that there’s one thing that the fire couldn’t take.

“There’s a lot you can’t replace, but the memories are still there,” she said.