02/09/10 — House fire victim identified

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House fire victim identified

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on February 9, 2010 1:46 PM

Goldsboro police have released the name of a man who apparently died in a Feb. 2 fire at a South Georgia Avenue boarding house.

Goldsboro police spokesman Sgt. Chad Calloway said continual contact with the Medical Examiner's Office led to the identification of Jerry Spruill, who lived at 109 S. Georgia Ave.

Spruill was found dead in an upstairs bedroom, police said.

Fire Chief Gary Whaley said firefighters arrived at the home around 8:42 p.m. on Feb. 2, finding the home about "80 percent" involved in fire.

The home was a total loss.

Firefighters took until around 10:25 p.m. to get the fire under control, but discovered Spruill just before 9 p.m. and called Goldsboro police, according to city records.

Authorities investigating the case said Spruill's body was badly burned, but that he had no other injuries that would lead them to suspect homicide.

However, the police sergeant said the investigation will not be closed until every possibility has been ruled out.

"At this point, with some things that we've taken from the fire, looking for things such as incendiary things, I don't know the answer to those, at this point," Calloway said.

Calloway said he was not suggesting the fire was suspicious, but added that the investigation remains open and has been assigned to Investigator Doug Bethea.

The police spokesman said the autopsy is not finished, and that police had received only verbal confirmation of Spruill's identity at this point.

Spruill is not related to the family of Joe Nathan Spruill Jr., of Dollard Town Road, who died after being hit with an electroshock gun during an arrest by a Wayne County Sheriff's Office deputy.