Veteran Dallas Firefighter Killed in Six-Alarm Blaze

Firefighter used radio to alert others he was trapped, lost

The body of a Dallas firefighter who radioed for help after becoming trapped in a burning condominium has been recovered.

The firefighter, Stanley Wilson, was among the 100 Dallas firefighters who responded to a six-alarm fire at the Hearthwood Condominiums at 12363 Abrams Road Monday morning.

According to Dallas Fire-Rescue Chief Louie Bright III, Wilson was a 28-year-veteran of the fire department. Wilson was a native North Texan and a Lake Highlands graduate.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said of Wilson, "He's a hero. As I told his boys, they should be very proud."

Wilson is survived by a wife and two sons.

When firefighters arrived shortly before 3 a.m., smoke was seen billowing through the roof of the complex. Dallas Fire-Rescue's Jason Evans said firefighters initially started to attack the fire offensively, but moved to a defensive posture due to how fast the fire was growing.

At about 5 a.m., Wilson radioed that he was trapped inside the building and that he wasn't sure where he was. Evans said crews had not been able to reach Wilson by radio since that message.

At about 9:15 a.m., Wilson was found. He was removed from the rubble, covered in an American flag and carried to an ambulance as dozens of firefighters and onlookers flanked either side, removed their helmets and saluted the procession.

The DFR ambulance then left the scene with a police escort, but without lights or sirens.

Two other firefighters were injured battling the fire and were hospitalized.  Evans did not believe the injuries to those firefighters were life-threatening.

Even though the large fire made searching for the trapped firefighter, or any other residents, difficult, five residents were rescued from the fire. Some older residents were seen climbing down the ladder of a DFR fire engine to safety.

Two injured residents were treated at the scene for minor smoke inhalation. There are no reports of any other injured or missing residents. At this time, the only known fatality is the firefighter, Stanley Wilson.

Many other residents of the community were evacuated. 

Officials said at least 24 units were destroyed and that the roof of the building collapsed in some areas, leaving third-floor apartments exposed. Other damaged portions of the building may have collapsed as well.

Church leaders from Park Cities Baptist Church spent Monday night with Wilson's family.

"Stan is just a selfless man, led his boys to be selfless leaders," said Dr. Jeff Warren of Park Cities Baptist Church.

"He was always looking out for everybody else," said David Ochoa, Boy Scouts of America Troop 890 Scout Master.

Church leaders will meet tomorrow with members of Wilson's family to prepare for his funeral, which will include both Dallas firefighters and members of Troop 890.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

NBC 5's Kevin Cokely contributed to this report.

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