Two Hoover fire victims 'loved life'

(WBRC video)
(WBRC video)

HOOVER, AL (WBRC) - As fire investigators rule out arson as the cause of a fatal fire in Hoover Saturday night, the families of Alondan Turner and Catherine Muse paused Tuesday to remember the young women.

Turner's mother, Alondan, and Catherine's father, Anyea, joined their mother, Annie Muse, Tuesday to talk to the media.  They said the girls, both 18, were "beautiful young ladies who loved life."

"Anyone who met them knew their spirit was genuine," Anyea Muse said, holding back tears. "They were trying to go somewhere in life and their life's been cut short."  

Alondan and Catherine were cousins and, according to family members, best friends who were always around each other and decided years ago to attend college together.  They were freshman roommates at the Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, Mississippi.  Alondan was majoring in accounting and journalism.  Catherine was majoring in theatre.  

Anyea Muse says the two girls came in town with their friends, Jamelia Brown and Jaslynn McGee, to shop and have fun over a long, holiday weekend.   They were in their hotel room at the Days Inn in Hoover Saturday night when the hotel caught fire. Their bodies were discovered a couple of hours later after firefighters extinguished the blaze.

Alondan Turner's mother says she was notified about the fire and was at the scene Saturday while firefighters fought the blaze.  

"In my heart, I kept praying," Turner's mother said through tears. "I kept praying that I could see her face, see her smile...that she would come out and say, 'Mom, it's going to be alright'."

Funerals for Turner and Muse will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday in the gymnasium of Dora High School, where both graduated in 2009.   

Investigators on Tuesday said arson was not the cause of the fire, but did continue to ask the public for help. If you have any information that may help with the investigation, you are asked to call investigators at (205) 985-9796 or 1-888-ATF-FIRE.