The state fire marshal’s office is investigating a deadly fire in Port Saint Joe early Saturday morning. The victim is the brother of Bay County Judge Elijah Smiley who is from Port Saint Joe.
Flames broke out in apartment 129 at Liberty Manor Apartments around 5 a.m. Eastern Time.
Judge Smiley was notified about the fire shortly after and drove over to help recover his brother's body.
Fifty-seven-year-old Isiah Farmon was found in the hallway.
Smiley says his brother was a disabled Vietnam veteran and describes him as a happy man. The brothers saw each other weekly.
Smiley says authorities told him they believe the fire may have started in a chair.
Twelve hours after the fire broke out, the area was still blocked off as a crime scene Saturday afternoon until an autopsy is complete.
The funeral is set for two o'clock Saturday in Port Saint Joe. The church has not been confirmed.