A Dallas apartment complex inferno that killed firefighter Stan Wilson, a Lake Highlands High School alumnus, is being investigated by the Dallas arson division as well as several state and federal agencies.
Wilson died fighting a six-alarm fire at an apartment complex on Abrams near Richland College. The fire started at about 3 a.m. May 20. Wilson’s last communication was a call for help from inside the building at about 5:30 a.m.
After requesting records related to the fire, the Dallas Morning News was denied information based on the grounds that the publicity could “interfere with the detection, investigation or prosecution of crime.”
Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans says that though the case is officially under the Arson and Fire Investigation Division jurisdiction, it isn’t necessarily being treated as a criminal case. Evans says arson investigators dig into more than just arson. Arson investigators are highly trained in determining the cause of fire, which might be something other than arson. However, according to the Dallas Fire-Rescue website, “incendiary blazes (intentionally set) are responsible for a large percentage of the annual fire loss within the City of Dallas and result in several fire fatalities each year.”
Arson and Fire Investigation Division is one of several entities investigating this particular fire since it involved a line of duty death (LODD), Evans says.
“In the state of Texas, a firefighter LODD results in the automatic deployment of the State Fire Marshal’s LODD Task Force. Not only do they provided needed additional resources to the scene, they, in conjunction with Dallas Fire-Rescue, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP) and the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office, are tasked with developing the facts and information regarding the fire fighter fatality,” according to a Dallas Fire-Rescue statement.
“All agencies involved have helped to develop lists of questions, which are asked during the course of interviews with responding firefighters and witnesses, in an effort to gather more details surrounding the fire cause, the timeline of operations and events leading up to firefighter Wilson’s death,” the statement continues. “Due to the extensive and delicate nature of this investigation, there are a lot of details that may lend itself to speculation on a fire cause and/or cause of death; therefore, we ask for your patience and understanding as we want this process to be as thorough and accurate as possible.”