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Structure fire claims life

Posted on Friday, February 16, 2024 at 10:55 am


A fire at the home of 307 Ledgeview Drive left one dead and another injured after abruptly breaking out yesterday afternoon.

An active investigation is underway to determine the cause, but investigators believe the fire started in the home’s garage just before 4 p.m.

“It was an extremely fast fire. It was extremely advanced when we got here,” Shelbyville Fire Chief Matt Doak told The Post.

The fire completely engulfed the garage. Homeowner Frank Nichols was found unresponsive. A Life-flight helicopter was initially requested to the scene, but all resuscitative efforts were unsuccessful.  Nichols was pronounced deceased on scene and the helicopter was canceled.

His wife, Alice, was carried from the home and is said to be recovering in the hospital.

“She didn’t know what had happened until the house started getting smoke,” said Doak. He said neighbors had to help restrain her because she kept trying to get back in.

It took about 30 to 40 minutes to get the fire under control. Fire hoses were left in the yard throughout the night.

Fire Marshall Jason Richardson explained, “We left them here during the night in case there was a rekindle.”

Doak added that because of the extent of the fire damage and since three vehicles were in the garage.

“There was a huge amount of second story space…so before it was every called in it had already broke into that attic.”

Sine there was a fatality, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation was called in, which is standard protocol. Doak said there was no foul play involved.

“It’s always been standard that we work with the state fire marshal’s office on major fires, if there’s a significant amount of money, a fatality, or if we suspect arson,” said Doak.

“It’s a tough day,” he added, saying he knew the Nichols family well.

Frank and Alice Nichols owned and operated Handy Dandy Market for many years in Shelbyville.