MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Fire Department announced Friday, July 28, that the total reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the arsonist responsible for the fire that killed a Memphis firefighter is now $24,000.
On Friday, MFD said the City of Memphis increased the existing reward an additional $10,000.
Last week, the Memphis Fire Fighters Association announced it was contributing $5,000 to any CrimeStoppers reward for information, and the Shelby County government matched the $5,000 contribution.
The Memphis Fire Department announced Thursday the South Memphis fire that led to the death of Lt. Jeffrey Norman Tuesday night was arson. In a release, MFD said the fire started in a dumpster in front of the carport outside the home in the 2000 block of Rile Street about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 18, 2023. They said the fire spread through the carport area and into the second-floor addition above it into the home.
While working to get the fire under control, MFD said the commanding officer was informed that several firefighters were trapped inside. They said crews began rescue efforts to save the trapped firefighters, but Lt. Norman, died in the process and three others were injured. Memphis Fire said as of Thursday morning, two firefighters have been released, while one firefighter remains in the hospital in stable condition.
Lt. Norman served with the Memphis Fire Department for 20 years, beginning his career as a firefighter on September 23, 2002.
“One of our own lost his life due to the actions of a criminal," said Thomas Malone, president of the Memphis Fire Fighters Association. "That criminal should be arrested, tried, and convicted of his crime. We hope these funds will convince someone to turn in those responsible for these egregious acts."
Friday afternoon, Shelby County matched the $5,000 contribution, raising the total to $10,000.
"Lt. Norman's death is a tragedy," Shelby County Government said in a tweet. "We hope this will inspire members of the public to come forward with information and do what's right."
MFD Chief Gina Sweat released the following statement:
"Today, with a heavy heart, I must share the heartbreaking news that has deeply affected our entire fire family. A devastating incident occurred, resulting in the tragic loss of one of our courageous firefighters in the line of duty and three others injured.
With deep grief, we announce the passing of Lieutenant Jeffrey Norman, a courageous and dedicated member of our team who made the ultimate sacrifice. Jeffrey was a leader and hard worker who took pride in serving his community.
Lieutenant Norman began his career with the Memphis Fire Department on September 23, 2002, and faithfully served for 20 years.
During this unimaginable loss, we extend our condolences to Lieutenant Norman's family, friends, loved ones, and Memphis Fire Department brothers and sisters.
Gina Y. Sweat