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Lost In The Line Of Duty

A Commentary By Jack Douglas Jr.
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Stan Wilson was a fireman.

He happened to work in Dallas.

But a firefighter’s job description is the same everywhere:

• work to save people trapped in burning buildings, like Wilson did on May 20, 2013;

• provide protection after treacherous road accidents, like Dallas firefighter William Scott Tanksley did earlier this month;

• respond to massive plant explosions, like 14 firefighters did in West on April 17, 2013;

• And respond to terrorist attacks, like 343 firefighters did on Sept. 11, 2001, in New York City.

Wilson died in the line of duty. So did every other firefighter mentioned above.

He and four other Dallas firefighters entered a burning apartment complex in search of saving lives.

After a collapse, Stan Wilson was carried out without his own life.

CBS 11’s I-Team has been asking questions ever since – Why did they go back in, after the fire had been raging for so long? Who gave the order, if an order was even given? And why were powerful water streams not turned off, instead of continuing to pound the top of the building, increasing the risk of a collapse.

At first, Jenny Wilson was wary about the I-Team’s questioning of what led to her husband’s death.

It hurt too much, for her and their two sons, Noah, 16, and 14-year-old Luke.

But eventually, Jenny Wilson softened, as the I-Team began to learn more about what happened that morning – information that, hard as it was, they wanted to know.

“I don’t want Stan to have died in vain … and I don’t want it to ever happen again …to put a family through this …that’s all I want.

“I don’t want another wife to get the call,” she said.

Jenny, Noah and Luke recently invited the I-Team into their home.

They offered us milk and pizza.

They laughed. They cried.

So did we.

With the I-Team, they never complained. Instead, they talked about how much Stan Wilson liked being a firefighter, surpassed only by his passion as a husband and father.

“I just want more people to know about my dad, because he was my example,” Noah told us.

And they asked that we continue to question what happened on the morning of May 20, 2013.

“I don’t want it swept under the rug,” said Jenny.

We assured her it wouldn’t be … because, after all, Stan Wilson earned it.

He was a fireman.

If you want to reach CBS 11′s Senior Investigative Producer Jack Douglas Jr., you can email him at jdouglas@cbs.com. If you want to reach CBS 11′s Investigative reporter Ginger Allen, you can email her at gingera@ktvt.com.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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