COCHRAN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - State fire investigators are trying to figure out what sparked an early morning blaze that killed a Bleckley County teacher in his Cochran home.
Glen Allen, spokesperson for the Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner, tells 41 NBC it happened around 6:32 a.m. Thursday at 147 Hudson Jones Road. Allen says 67-year-old Larry Libby was found dead in his bedroom.
"My wife called and said the house is on fire," Laurie Jones, Libby's next door neighbor, said.
Now all that remains is the charred skeleton of the home. The Cochran-Bleckley County Fire Department says a school bus driver spotted the early morning blaze and called 911. Firefighters responded immediately, but it was too late for Libby.
"h|He was always a good neighbor. Quiet, didn't bother nobody. He was a good neighbor," Jones said.
Jones lived next door to Libby for almost 40 years. He says the algebra teacher taught his sons, grandsons and so many others.
"All these kids he taught in this community, they'll miss him," Jones said. "Sure will because they have good memories."
They are memories that won't burn away. Libby touched so many lives in this area. Throughout the day cars slowed down or stopped in front of his home as the community said its final goodbyes.
"You just don't think of something happening like this nowadays," Gary Arnold, Libby's former student and co-worker, said. "Somebody getting caught in a fire, something like this...anything can happen."
"Just a good guy...sure was. We'll miss him," Jones sai.d
As state fire investigators figure out what happened inside the home, the community stops and remembers the teacher who taught them so much.
"He wasn't your outgoing personality or anything like this but basically he was a good man," Arnold said. "He was good to the people who knew him."
"He's just a fine guy. A fine neighbor...sure was," Jones said.
The State Fire Marshall's office says the fire isn't suspicious. Allen told 41 NBC Libby did not have a working fire alarm in his home.
Libby, a Waycross native, had lived and worked in Cochran for 44 years, and received a masters degree in mathematics from berry College, and retired from teaching from Bleckley County High School and Middle Georgia College.
Survivors are his sons, Christopher Libby of Warner Robins, Will Libby and Brad Libby of Cochran; brothers, Ray Libby of Albany, Bill Libby of Florida and Randy Libby of South Carolina.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Mathis Funeral Home in Cochran.
The Tri-Couny Monitor contributed to this report.