Retired Dallas firefighter alleges cover-up in former coworker's death

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by REBECCA LOPEZ

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

WFAA

Posted on May 20, 2014 at 8:16 PM

DALLAS — One year ago Tuesday, Dallas firefighter Stanley Wilson died in the line of duty.

Retired firefighter James Crump was a friend of Wilson's. He alleges that mistakes were made by commanders at Dallas Fire-Rescue on the day Wilson died.

“It’s inexcusable that the truth has not been told to Stan's family or to the citizens of Dallas, who have a right to know how one of their bravest died," Crump said.

Wilson died when the roof at the Hearthwood Condominiums fell on him and four other firefighters. Crump alleges the firefighters were ordered to go back inside the collapsing complex by a deputy chief.

"It was nothing short of insanity to issue that order," Crump said.

He and others say commanders failed to follow safety protocols in battling the six-alarm blaze. For example, Crump said water cannons were blasting the roof of the building while firefighters were still inside.

"If you are going to send somebody back in, first, you have to turn off those big guns," he said.

Crump accuses the fire department of a cover-up, saying that they're delaying the findings to protect commanders. The department has refused to release any recordings or documents related to the incident, citing an ongoing investigation.

The department did issue a statement saying the cause of the fire is "undetermined," and a Line of Duty Death Investigation team has been poring over interviews, raw media footage, and radio transmissions to determine what happened that day. The final report is not finished, the department said.

"To maintain the integrity of the DFR official report, the department and its members will not comment on this report," said Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Lt. Joel Lavender.

But Wilson's friends and family say a year is long enough, and they want answers.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com

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