Fire Claims Life of Leon County Man

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Those driving down Chaires Cross Road would see Arthur Spence sitting in his recliner. He would often share stories with those who would sit with him, but now his life's story has come to a tragic close.

Friday Spence's home was completely destroyed by fire, but those who knew him best would argue his most prized possession was an old recliner.

"He grew vegetables and sold them to the public. They stopped by and bought vegetables. His grandson boiled peanuts. It was just a good place for people. They would just come and sit with him,” said Dorothy Spence, sister-in-law of Arthur Spence.

Often seen wearing a pair of overalls, Spence was affectionately known as 'Sport.' Family members say people would often stop and present him with gifts.

"I was here sometime around Christmastime. There was a man that came up and gave him a $100 bill in an envelope, told him merry Christmas and drove off," said George Spence, son of Arthur Spence.

"He was good to hang around. He would tell you stories and all of that," said Jerry Spence.

Authorities do not suspect foul play, but the exact cause of the blaze is still under investigation. Those who knew Spence, or had a chance to sit with him, say he will be missed.

"I just wish I could have been half as good as he was," added George Spence.

A family spokesperson says a viewing ceremony is set for Sunday at the Abbey Riposta funeral home from 6-8 p.m. The funeral ceremony will be held on Monday morning, also at the Abbey Riposta Funeral Home at 11:00 a.m.

Officials are hoping the results of Spence's autopsy will give them a better understanding of how the blaze started.