DALLAS –– The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is aiding local authorities with an investigation into what caused a six-alarm fire at a Dallas condominium complex that killed a firefighter.
In a release Wednesday afternoon, ATF spokesman Andrew Young says agents were present after the fire broke out on Monday. The blaze, which began at 3 a.m. Monday at the Hearthwood North Condominiums in the 12300 block of Abrams Road, required 150 firefighters and caused more than $5 million in damages. Twenty four units were destroyed.
The ATF has activated its National Response Team to help investigate. This is the 8th time the 25 to 30 member team has been asked to help investigate this year. Says the ATF:
"The teams are each composed of veteran special agents who have post-blast and fire origin-and-cause expertise; forensic chemists; explosives enforcement officers; fire protection engineers; accelerant detection canines; explosives detection canines; intelligence support, computer forensic support and audit support."
By the time the fire was tapped out, Stanley Wilson was dead. The 28-year veteran of Dallas Fire-Rescue worked at Station 53 in the 1400 block of John West Rd. He was a local, a 1980 graduate of Lake Highlands High School who was remembered as a servant who laid down his life for the public.
"We lost one of ours," said Mayor Mike Rawlings. "Our hearts are broken for the family, for the city, for the department."
Jason Evans, Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman, declined to give any updates on Wilson’s death until the investigation is complete. Evans did say that Dallas Fire-Rescue is the lead investigator –– the ATF will assist in gathering on-scene evidence and conducting interviews with witnesses and first responders.
That process should take between three and five days, Evans said. It's routine for the ATF to help investigate a fire when a first responder is killed battling it.
“ATF is committed to working alongside its state and local partners bringing its expertise to determine the origin and cause of this horrific fire, and provide whatever resources necessary to thoroughly investigate and provide answers,” wrote Special Agent in Charge Robert Champion, ATF Dallas Field Division, in a statement.
DFR Deputy Chief Michael Price suggested on Tuesday that the complex was made of lightweight "engineered building products" instead of wood, which could have fueld the fire further. It took minutes for the building to lose integry and collapse.
Wilson’s funeral will be 10 a.m. Saturday at the Park Cities Baptist Church, located at 3933 Northwest Highway. The burial will follow at Restland Cemetery Garden of Honor.