House Fire Kills Mom, Dad and 14-Year-Old Son in Pennsylvania

·3 min read

A husband and wife and their 14-year-old son died after a fire tore through their Pennsylvania home early Monday morning.

The blaze, which broke out around 2:30 a.m. in the area of East 5th Street in Pottstown, also injured a firefighter, who is expected to fully recover, the Pottstown Fire Department and Emergency Management wrote on Facebook.

Joseph Norton, 48, was pronounced dead at Pottstown Hospital on Monday, Alexander Balacki, First Deputy Coroner at the Montgomery County Coroner's Office, confirms to PEOPLE.

Norton's cause of death is listed as smoke and soot inhalation, and his manner of death is accident from fire, Balacki says.

His wife Bernadette Norton, 47, was rushed to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in critical condition, and was pronounced dead Monday night, the Lehigh County Coroner's Office, which did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment, told the Daily Voice.

Their son's identity will not be released by the Montgomery County Coroner's Office because he is a juvenile, but WPVI reported that he was 14 years old.

Bernadette Norton worked as a school counselor at Lauer's Park Elementary for the past 14 years, Kristin Boyd Edwards, a spokesperson for the Reading School District, confirms to PEOPLE.

RELATED: Father of 3 Killed in 'Devastating' S.C. House Fire: 'He Loved His Family Tremendously'

"Mrs. Norton cared for all of our students like they were own," Edwards says. "She had an incredible knack for making each student feel valued, seen and loved. She also had the same impact with her coworkers, who often turned to her for a shoulder to lean on. Her smile was endless, and her door was always open for anyone who needed her. She was a phenomenal person, inside and out, and she will be incredibly missed by our entire school community."

Lauer Park Principal Jasmin Sanchez-Lopez said in a statement that the community has "found solace in the support of one another."

"Everyone was shocked and in disbelief with the tragic news, but we are pulling together to extend help to her surviving family members," Sanchez-Lopez said. "As a school counselor, she impacted the lives of countless students and families in need. Staff members also report that they have sought her guidance in their own moments of need. For this and much more, she has left an indelible mark in the Reading community."

Neighbor Christopher Azukas told the outlet that he often saw Norton's son playing outside in the yard.

"He was heavily into baseball so I'd see him out back sometimes in the backyard, sometimes practicing baseball and stuff like that," he said. "I'd see him and his father go off to the games on weekends and everything."

Public Facebook posts shared by friends identified the Norton family, and one person noted that Bernadette had celebrated her birthday over the weekend by watching her son hit his first home run at a baseball game.

"Joe and Bernadette never missed a game, side by side, even most practices: one true American family," the friend wrote.

RELATED VIDEO: Adele Makes Rare Video Appearance to Support Victims of London's Grenfell Tower Disaster: 'Stay Strong'

Officials with the Pottstown Fire Department, who did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment, have not yet identified the cause of the blaze, though they have said the home did not appear to have working smoke detectors, WPVI reported.

"From our window of our house I could see some flames coming out of there, but there was a lot of smoke," Azukas told the outlet. "There was a lot of smoke."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting