Local state trooper shares lessons learned after family narrowly escapes house fire

ALLEGHANY COUNTY, Va. – A local state trooper and his family are sharing lessons they learned after narrowly escaping a house fire last month.

Anthony Nicely, his wife, Kristin and their two children, Carter and Brody have lived in their Alleghany County for nearly two decades.

Their lives were changed the morning of March 1, when 16-year-old, Carter was woken up.

“I woke up to the heat. I tried to turn my light on, it wouldn’t turn on and it was bright outside and it just clicked. It’s 5 a.m. and something is bright outside, something is on fire. So I went upstairs and woke up my mom and dad,” said Carter.

“When we ran out, the porch was completely on fire. The flames were shooting up to the upstairs window,” said Anthony.

Thankfully, the entire family made it out safely. But the house and everything inside of it was a total loss.

Anthony has served in law enforcement for 20 years. Over those years, he has responded to a lot of emergencies, but never thought this would happen to him and his own family.

“I guess what really hit home for me is kind of the idea it was never going to happen to you,” said Anthony.

Anthony is now using his and his family’s experience to teach others about fire safety and ways to prepare families for emergencies.

“Some of the things in hindsight that I’ve even done now since I moved into the new house, ladders for the upstairs windows, [considering] placement of smoke detectors,” said Anthony.

“Another thing I never really thought of, when I was talking to my youngest son, was how to get a window open. I’ve never really told him because I didn’t want him upstairs opening windows, but I got to thinking, if I wasn’t there, would he have known how to get a window open. Would he have known to get a ladder out, would he know which window to go to to get away from the heat,” he added.

“Things that honestly come second nature to me, I kind of took for granted and got lucky, and just want to get the message out that if this happens to them, they’re as lucky as me,” said Anthony.

The family said the outpouring of support from Alleghany County, surrounding areas and law enforcement has been overwhelming, and it helped get them through this difficult time.

The Nicely family plans to rebuild a home on the same property where their former house burnt down.

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