Fifteen months later, his widow still doesn't know why he had to die.


DALLAS — There were tears and raw emotion the day Dallas firefighter Stan Wilson, crushed under the weigh of a collapsing building, lost his life.

Fifteen months later, his widow still doesn't know why he had to die.

"She wants to know the facts and circumstances surrounding why he was sent back in there and who sent him in and why," said Barry Hasten, an attorney representing Wilson's wife, Jenny.

By citing an ongoing criminal investigation, Dallas Fire-Rescue has been able to keeps its records under wraps. In a letter sent Friday to the Texas Attorney General, Hasten asked the office to determine if there's really an "ongoing criminal investigation."

"The state fire marshal also investigated this fire and so I asked them, 'Do you have an ongoing arson criminal investigation?' Halsten said. "And they said, 'no.' Theirs was done on May the 25 of 2013, five days after the fire. We're 438 days post fire and Dallas still doesn't have theirs done."

Mr. Wilson died on May 20, 2013 in a six-alarm fire at a northeast Dallas condominium complex.

A 28-year veteran, he radioed that he was trapped in the burning building. Rescuers pulled his body from the debris several hours later.

Jim Crump, a retired firefighter and Wilson's academy classmate, says fundamental safety rules were broken that day, and he believes that's the reason for the delay.

"Dallas Fire-Rescue has procedures in place that were not followed, that were absolutely ignored, that ended up in the death of Stan Wilson and that is what the Dallas Fire Department is covering up," he said. "There were national standards that were ignored."

On the day Wilson died, he and several others were ordered back into the building as giant ladder pipes blasted water onto it.

Crump says a deputy chief gave that fateful order.

"You never ever send firefighters in underneath an operating master stream," Crump said. "You do not do it because this is the result."

Hasten says Mrs. Wilson's frustration and dissolution grows daily.

For a year, he says she never heard a word from anybody in the fire department command staff. And, it was only after he recently sent the city a letter demanding answers that he said Fire Chief Louie Bright contacted her.

Even that conversation is a source of disagreement.

Mrs. Wilson told Hasten that the line of duty report would be ready and released by Aug. 30. The fire department denies he ever told her that.

"I will side with my client on that," Hasten said.

In a statement, DFR says it "is in the process of completing an official report into the line-of-duty death ... We do not have an exact timeline for the completion and release of this report."

To the family and friends of Mr. Wilson, that's not a good enough answer.

Read or Share this story: