Widow calls for investigation into Dallas firefighter's death

The widow of a Dallas firefighter is calling on Dallas city leaders to launch an independent investigation into his death.

Stanley Wilson died when a burning building collapsed on him in May 2013. No one has been held responsible for his death.

The fire chief acknowledges that confusion and poor communication involving supervisors at the scene contributed to his death, but Stanley's widow, Jenny, believes there's more to it.

Jenny believes Dallas-Fire Rescue has not told the whole story about Stanley's death and is demanding an independent investigation and an overhaul in department policy.

Jenny's attorney cites a cover-up and sloppy work ethic that led to what he called "cultural indifference."

"All I ever wanted was a sincere apology from the fire department saying, ‘We're sorry,'" said Jenny. "But that didn't happen."

The call for the fire that Barry died in came in at about 3 a.m. on May 20, 2013 in northeast Dallas. The fire quickly raced to six alarms.

As firefighters searched inside the burning condos, not once, but twice, they found no one and pulled back.

What happened next is described in the line-of-duty death report as confusion and miscommunication.

Several members of Stanley's team say their commander, Deputy Chief Bobby Ross, ordered them back into the burning building -- a claim he disputed.

Chief Louie Bright declined to hand out discipline, saying the communication breakdown occurred on many levels and no one person was responsible.

Ross has since retired, but Jenny believes there's more to what happened -- details that were cut from the 703-page draft investigative report.

"After Stan's death, I had full faith in the fire department to do the right thing," said Jenny. "I stayed quiet. And looking back, I don't know if I did the right thing."

Jenny's attorney says they can't sue because of restrictions in workers comp law, but they are pushing city council for an independent investigation.

They also want the city to require radio communication at fire scenes to be recorded.

Many fire departments, both big and small, do that already.

"Why don't they have it?" said Jenny's attorney, Barry Hasten. "Why isn't anyone pushing for it? It may be nefarious reasons. I don't know." 

FOX 4 asked DFR to respond after talking to Jenny and her attorney.

A spokesman for the fire department called the allegations salacious and egregious. He said the department is looking into technology for ground-fire recording transmissions, but that such orders as were given in this case are given face-to-face, so that even if the department had a recording capability, it wouldn't have made a difference in this case.

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