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Firefighter Dies While Battling Dallas Condo Fire

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Stephanie Lucero
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) -A Dallas firefighter was killed while battling a six-alarm fire that sent flames shooting through the roof of a three-story condominium complex on Monday morning.

The fire was first reported just before 3:00 a.m. in the 13000 block of Abrams Road, just north of the LBJ Freeway in Dallas. Crews who first arrived on the scene found heavy flames and smoke showing. There are 24 condo units in the building at Hearthwood North Condominiums and more than 20 of them were affected.

As many as 150 firefighters were on the scene battling the fire, which was still burning out of control after three hours. Firefighters worked defensively to prevent flames from spreading to nearby buildings. Most of the fire had finally been put out by daybreak. There is no word yet on what might have sparked the massive blaze, which reportedly started on the third floor.

At least five residents were rescued from the burning building, including an 8-year-old boy who was pulled from the rubble.  Two firefighters were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Two other residents were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. All of those people are expected to be okay.

But there was one death during the blaze. As crews were battling flames, one firefighter radioed to report that he was trapped inside of the burning building. Rescuers spent hours trying to locate that man and bring him out to safety. However, he was not found alive. His body was retrieved from the burned out wreckage just after 9:00 a.m. on Monday morning. The other firefighters on the scene lined up to pay their respects as the deceased veteran firefighter’s body was carried out under an American flag.

At a news conference held Monday afternoon, the deceased man was identified as Stanley Wilson, a 28-year veteran firefighter. He is survived by his wife, two teenage sons and mother. Dallas Fire-Rescue Chief Louie Bright, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, and Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm met Wilson’s family on Monday morning. “Our heart is broken for his family,” said Rawlings.  “Fireman Wilson’s professionalism was exemplary.  His sacrifice was complete.  He was a hero, as I told his boys, they should be very proud.”

Stanley A Wilson (Credit: Dallas Fire-Rescue)

Stanley A Wilson (Credit: Dallas Fire-Rescue)

Wilson worked as a second driver and engineer out of station 53 in East Dallas.  He graduated from Dallas’ Lake Highlands High School in 1980.

Dallas Fire Rescue Chief Louie Bright said of Wilson, “He’s a long-time member of the department, hard-worker, certainly a hero with us, for all of his efforts today.”

Wilson also served as a Boy Scout troop leader for troop 890, of which his son was a member.

“We’re really going to miss Stan.  He’s been a rock. He’s been one of the school leaders in our Boy Scout troop. Not only did the boys look up to him as a guide and leader, but to some of the dads,” said Matt Bosch, who also served as a troop leader.

The last Dallas Fire-Rescue member to be killed on the job was Lt. Todd Krodle, who fell through the roof of an Oak Cliff apartment building while battling flames in August 2011. Krodle had been with Dallas Fire-Rescue for nearly 18 years.

Meanwhile, the American Red Cross is helping residents who have been displaced by the fire. A bus is transporting them to a shelter, which has been set up at the Lake Highlands Recreation Center. As of Monday afternoon, 35 people had registered with the Red Cross for assistance, though the organization is expecting more.

This is the second major blaze to hit this condo community in four years.  No word yet on what started this fire.  Arson investigators and state fire marshal personnel are investigating.

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