Dallas Condominium Blaze Killed Firefighter Stanley Wilson


A six alarm fire at a condominium fire in Dallas, Texas, has claimed the life of a firefighter.

Stanley Wilson radioed to his comrades that he was trapped inside the inferno.  He was later found dead in the wreckage.  The reason the fire received “six-alarm” status, was because of the search for Wilson.

“When firefighters arrived at the location, there was lots of smoke coming from the roof of a three-story condominium building,” the department said. “An offensive fire attack was initially attempted, but the fire was growing too quickly and caused them to have to move out for a defensive attack.”

The fire began just before 3 a.m. Monday in the three story structure.  It was extinguished by dawn.  Wilson’s body was recovered just over six hours after the fire began.

At least five residents were rescued from the blaze.  Two were treated for smoke inhalation.  Two additional firefighters received minor injuries and were treated at a nearby hospital.

The last Dallas Fire-Rescue member to be killed on the job was Lt. Todd Krodle, who fell through the roof of an Oak Cliff apartment building while battling flames in August 2011, KTVT reports.

When Wilson’s body was removed from the rubble, he was draped in an American flag while being carried to the ambulance.  Firefighters and members at the scene stood in rows along the path, removed their helmets and headgear, and saluted the fallen hero.

Much of the complex is unlivable.  The cause is under investigation.

As of 2011, the US had 1,100,000 firefighters, of which 344,000 , 31% were career firefighters and 756,000, 69% were volunteer firefighters.

Firemen are extremely well-trained professionals, and, although the risk of death while in the performance of their job is high, it is not common.

There are some notable exceptions.

343 FDNY firefighters were killed in the attacks on September 11, 2001. In 2007, the Sofa Super Store fire in Charleston, South Carolina killed nine firefighters.

The two million fire calls that American fire departments respond to each year represent the highest figures in the industrialized world. Thousands of people die each year, tens of thousands of people are injured, and property damages reach the billions of dollars.

According to the US Fire Administration, the United States has a more severe fire problem than generally perceived.  In inner city Pennsylvania neighborhoods, house fires have greatly increased, especially in socially and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. An alarming trend in these specific house fires is that sixty percent of these houses do not have working smoke detectors.  Additionally, these households are prone to using supplemental heating devices and substandard extension cords that are not Underwriters Laboratories compliant.

James Turnage

The Guardian Express


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