Nipper's colleagues are planning to honor his memory. A retired firefighter who helped shaped Nipper's career spoke to ABC11 about his colleague and friend.
"It's never good when a young person dies, no matter how," said retired Raleigh Fire Dept. Capt. Jim Parker. "They leave behind their family."
It's a life and a career cut short. Parker remembers 43-year-old Nipper.
"A good fire captain is gone, a hell of a fire captain," said Parker.
Parker was one of Nipper's first supervisors on the job back in 1996.
"He came to Station 9 and I was his captain," said Parker. "I didn't have to worry about him doing his job. He could do his job and even more. He always carried his load and he'd carry somebody else's if he had to."
But he was more than just a colleague. He was a friend
"It's just a hole. It's just an empty hole. It's a spot there," said Parker. "That you're never going to get that person to be there with you again to do the things you did the last day you were at work."
For now, Parker and many others face an emotion blaze that's hard to control.
Nipper's visitation will be held Wednesday between noon and 2 p.m. at Providence Baptist Church on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh.
There will be a graveside service and burial at Raleigh Memorial Park immediately following the visitation.