DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Sixteen months after Dallas firefighter Stan Wilson died when a burning building collapsed on him, the Dallas Fire and Rescue Department on Friday took some responsibility for his death.
“Unfortunately, this investigation …revealed that DFR firefighters failed to take actions that possibly contributed to Stan Wilson perishing in this fire,” Fire Chief Louie Bright said in a tension-charged press conference.
After reading a statement, Bright left the room without taking questions from reporters, leading to a scuffle with a fire department spokesman when one reporter tried to follow the chief out.
Although there was a breakdown in communications, and multiple mistakes made by fire commanders at the scene, Bright said no one would be disciplined.
Instead, he said, “the investigation clearly identified the need to change the way we do business in areas of training, along with fire strategies and tactics.”
The long-awaited report finds what CBS 11’s I-Team has been investigating for more than a year – that there was confusion among top fire supervisors at the scene.
♦♦♦ Read The Full Report Below ♦♦♦
In addition, the I-Team has found evidence that draw into question whether Wilson and fellow firefighters should have been ordered into the burning building while powerful streams of water pounded the top of the already-collapsing building.
The investigative report also quoted the ranking firefighter at the scene, Deputy Chief Bobby Ross, denying that he gave the order, while other firefighters are quoted saying they heard Ross order Wilson and others back into the building to search for victims.
In its investigation, the I-Team obtained audio of a fire department meeting in which Ross and another commander argued over who actually issued the controversial order that sent Wilson inside moments before the building collapsed.
On Friday, Bright said: “As you will see when you read the report there is no one person who bears all responsibility for what occurred on May 20 of last year.”
Barry Hasten, an attorney representing Wilson’s widow, Jenny, said neither the report nor Bright’s press conference gave all the answers the fallen firefighter’s family deserves.
“Seeking the full truth is exactly what I intend to do on behalf of Jenny and her boys,” Hasten said, in a text to the I-Team.
If you want to reach CBS 11′s Senior Investigative Producer Jack Douglas Jr., you can email him firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to reach CBS 11′s Investigative reporter Ginger Allen, you can email her at email@example.com
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