A man considered a hero for his efforts in trying to save a police officer nine years ago is dead and two others are injured after fire destroyed a home early Friday morning.
The Baton Rouge Fire Department said it happened on North 28th Street near Gayosa Street shortly after 1:30 a.m. It took until 4:15 a.m. to get it under control.
The victim who died was identified as Stanford Wilson, 60. He was found in a back room of the house by firefighters. Neighbors say he was able to escape the fire, but went back in because he thought there were still people in the house.
"Well, he was a hero today," said neighbor J.D. Williams. "He saved maybe three or four people's lives and got his own life taken for doing it,"
In May 2004, Wilson was shot after trying to save Lt. Vickie Wax, an officer with the Baton Rouge Police Department. Wilson was at the now-closed Walmart on Perkins when Sheridan Williams was being questioned by Wax and a security guard about the theft of disposable cameras.
Williams punched Wax in the face, grabbed her gun and shot her. He then shot the security guard and Wilson. Wax was off duty at the time of the shooting and died from her wounds. Williams was sentenced to death.
Wilson was a train engineer who loved music and was a member of the Southern University Marching Band.
Two people escaped the fire Friday morning and were taken to the hospital by EMS. Their conditions are unknown.
The home was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived on the scene. Officials added the second story collapsed shortly after firemen made it to the home.
According to BRFD, DPW assisted with getting heavy equipment to the scene to put out the fire. Firefighters were able to keep the flames from spreading to the home next door.
The house that caught fire is considered a total loss.
The cause of the fire has not been determined and remains under investigation.