HENDERSON, Tenn. (BNC) by Jamie Suiter — Three members of the Russell and Donna Turner family died from smoke inhalation in a fire Aug. 3, Thursday afternoon. The fire apparently started in the kitchen of the Turners’ house, according to WBBJ News and members of the Henderson congregation.

When the Fire Department came the house was already engulfed in flames. They did get 41-year-old Donna and her daughters Sierra, 14, who passed first, and Victoria Turner, who many say was 19 or 20, to the hospital in Jackson. All passed away later from smoke inhalation.

The husband and father Russell Turner had gone to his in-laws, Don and Chris Smith, who were vacationing, to check on their nearby house after his work when the fire occurred. The Turner’s son Colin was at band practice when the fire started.

The two girls had disabilities, and Donna spoke recently to the women of the congregation about children with special needs.

Adam Cross, member of the Henderson congregation and a former Bible class teacher, told BNC that the family is a vital part of the congregation and very well thought of.

Russell Turner has set up a GoFundMe account to help with the families expenses.



  1. Donna, Victoria, and Sierra Turner

    Donna Smith Turner, age 41, Victoria ‘Tori’ Turner, age 18, and Sierra Turner, age 13, died Thursday evening, Donna and Sierra in the emergency room of Jackson General Hospital, and Victoria at The Regional Medical Center in Memphis, all as a result of a residential house fire at their home in Henderson.
    Donna Darlene Smith Turner, the daughter of Donald Glenn and Christa Darlene Patterson Smith was born in Jackson, TN and grew up in Chester County, graduating from Chester County High School in 1994. She attended Freed-Hardeman University where she met and married Russell Lyn Turner. They lived in Jonesboro, AR, Franklin, TN and moved to Henderson in 2011. She was a champion of Special Education in Chester County and was very passionate for children with special needs. She was looking forward to being a CCHS Band Booster. She loved to write, particularly teenage romance novels. She and her children were very involved in the Lads to Leaders program at the Henderson Church of Christ where she was a member.

    Victoria Alexis ‘Tori’ Turner was born in Jonesboro, AR and grew up in Franklin, TN and Henderson. She graduated from Chester County High School in May of this year with a diploma in Special Education. She was very involved in youth activities at the Henderson Church of Christ and the Lads to Leaders program.

    Sierra Kaitlyn Turner was born in Nashville and grew up in Franklin, TN and Henderson. She was a student at North Chester Special Education. She was also involved in youth church activities at the Henderson Church of Christ and the Lads to Leaders program.

    Donna and her girls are survived by her husband and the girl’s father, Russell Lyn Turner, a son and brother of the girls Joshua Colin Turner and Donna’s parents and the girl’s grandparents Don and Chris Smith of Henderson. Donna has a sister Traci Ramelle Sproule and husband David of West Palm Beach, FL. Donna’s mother-in-law and the girl’s fraternal grandmother is Mary Esther Wilson Turner of Hornersville, MO and her father-in- law the late Ricky Lynn Turner.

    Joint funeral services will be 2:00 PM Tuesday at the Henderson church of Christ with Roy Sharp, Bill Wade, and Jared Gott officiating, with Shackelford Funeral Directors – Casey Chapel in charge of arrangements. Burial will be at Cave Springs Cemetery.

    The family will receive friends at the Henderson Church of Christ from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM Monday and Tuesday from 12 noon until 2:00 PM.

  2. Thank you for the news, Randal and Vicki, though it is so sad to hear about the loss. I suppose this was near Freed Hardeman University which is also in Henderson. God bless you in your continuing work for the Master.

    I will also mention that God continues to bless me by allowing me to write a column each week in the Fort Worth Star Telegram. It is called Paper Pulpit, now ongoing for over 9 years with the support of churches
    of Christ, individual contributions and also by proceeds from re-binding old Bibles. The cost is $500 per week.
    You also see these at http://www.PaperPulpitFortWorth.com. Alvin Jennings.

  3. I am absolutely floored and my heart completely moved. I just don’t know what to say or begin to even imagine what the husband and son are feeling. More than anything I pray their home congregation will drown them with love and comfort. I sent prayers to this family.