Lieutenant Francis William Wilt, Jr.

Lieutenant Francis William Wilt, Jr.

Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Tuesday, May 20, 1980

Francis William Wilt, Jr.

Lieutenant Bill Wilt suffered a fatal heart attack while rescuing a family from a burning house at 5:45 AM. Lieutenant Wilt was en rout to begin the 6:00 AM shift at the Western Penitentiary in the Woods Run section of Pittsburgh when he noticed a house on fire on the city's Northside at 400 Chautauqa Street.

Upon seeing the fire, he immediately exited his vehicle, activated a nearby fire alarm, and then entered the home. He awoke and evacuated the five family members from the home. As he carried the last child out of the home he collapsed on the front steps.

Lieutenant Wilt had served with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections for 19 years. He was survived by his wife and eight children.

Lieutenant Wilt's widow remarried James Pfeister, who was later killed in the line of duty while serving as chief of police of the Cresson Borough Police Department on June 8th, 1996.


  • Age 48
  • Tour 19 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Heart attack

Most Recent Reflection

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Time may have passed but you are not forgotten. I believe as long as someone remembers you or speaks your name, you are still with us.
Thank you for your heroism.
God Bless

Detention Officer A.Zambito

May 20, 2015

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