Dallas Firefighter's Widow Retains Legal Help to Get Answers on His Death - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Dallas Firefighter's Widow Retains Legal Help to Get Answers on His Death



    (Published Wednesday, July 30, 2014)

    The widow of a veteran Dallas firefighter killed in a six-alarm fire more than a year ago has retained a lawyer to help get answers from the city about how he died.

    Stanley Wilson's body was removed by fellow firefighters May 20, 2013, from a collapsed building in the Hearthwood Condominiums in the 12300 block of Abrams Road near LBJ Freeway.

    His wife, Jenny Wilson, has been waiting more than 14 months for the line-of-duty death report to be released.

    "I think patience has turned into frustration, and she just wants answers about what happened to her husband," said her lawyer, Barry Hasten.

    Hasten wrote a letter to Dallas Fire Rescue Chief Louie Bright asking that the report be released and questioning the delay.

    "Most all the witnesses, if not all the witnesses, they'd need to interview are under their control. They're employees of the Dallas Fire Department. So I can see no reason why it's taken this long," Hasten said.

    Reports at the time of the fire said Stanley Wilson was ordered to go back into the burning building to be sure all residents were safe. It collapsed soon after he went back in.

    The death is mentioned in a portion of the 2013 Texas State Fire Marshal's investigation of firefighter deaths, which is copied below:

    May 20, 2013 — Hearthwood Condominiums structure fire Stanley Wilson, Firefighter Dallas Fire Rescue Injuries from structure collapse

    On May 20, 2013, at 2:51 a.m., Dallas Fire Rescue Dispatch received a call from an alarm monitoring company advising that the alarm system located at the Hearthwood North 2 Condominiums, 12363 Abrams Road, Dallas, Texas, had activated. Firefighter Wilson responded to the scene on Truck 53 at 4:05 from Station 57 on the fourth alarm of the six-alarm fire. Truck 53 was assigned to evacuate an adjacent building in the complex and then received orders to conduct a primary search of the ground floor of the fire building. Shortly after beginning the primary search, a portion of the structure collapsed, fatally injuring Firefighter Wilson.

    Autopsies revealed that Firefighter Wilson died of mechanical compression of the chest causing asphyxia.

    The city of Dallas report should give more detail about the incident.

    "The best information I have is that the report's been done for at least two months," Hasten said. "It may not have a signature on it, but it's been done and it's being held. Now why it's being held, I don’t know."

    Dallas Fire Rescue spokesman Lt. Joel Lavender said the line-of-duty death report is in the works, but the investigation of the fire is not over and the department has no comment at this time.