State and local investigative reports obtained by media show that commanders’ decisions were largely to blame for the death of a Dallas firefighter last year, reports The Dallas Morning News.
Nearly 16 months after Stanley Wilson died May 20, 2013, in a collapsing condominium complex, Dallas Fire-Rescue Chief Louie Bright III handed over two reports Wednesday to Wilson’s widow Jenny and her attorney Barry Hasten.
A State Fire Marshal report found that the department’s commanders failed to conduct proper risk assessment, supervise personnel adequately and make the right decisions about how to battle the blaze and whether to search the buildings.
The Dallas Fire-Rescue line-of-duty-death report makes similar conclusions and details confusion that night between commanders as the building burned. It also gives conflicting accounts on what the commander on scene, Deputy Chief Bobby Ross, told Wilson’s crew to do. The account of many firefighters on the scene, excluding Ross, matches what Wilson’s longtime friend Jim Crump, a retired Dallas firefighter, had said early on in the investigation.
Crump said reading the report “made me want to cry.” He said he believes Ross was careless and didn’t follow procedures he had been taught.
“Regardless of how well-meaning he thought he was, he broke every rule that is established for a fire commander,” Crump said. “And it cost Stan Wilson his life.”
Dallas Fire-Rescue Lt. Joel Lavender declined comment on the contents of the report because it had yet to be officially released. Bright is scheduled to give a statement on the report Friday.
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