Distortion of Fact, by Andrew Burfield

Claims 1-10


Claim No:    1        2        3        4        5        6        7        8        9        10        Front Page

6.      The omission of the fact that the fires in the Twin Towers were not very big, very hot, or very long-lasting compared with fires in several steel-frame buildings that did not collapse (25-26).

7.      The omission of the fact that, given the hypothesis that the collapses were caused by fire, the South Tower, which was struck later than the North Tower and also had smaller fires, should not have collapsed first (26).


8.      The omission of the fact that WTC 7 (which was not hit by an airplane and which had only small, localized fires) also collapsed — an occurrence that FEMA admitted it could not explain (26).


(Notice: The reply to claims 6, 7 and 8 is the same and is found on each individual page)



The above allegations all relate directly to the intensity of the fires in WTC1, WTC2, and WTC7.  As such I have grouped these claims together, to avoid repeating the same information multiple times.


The 9/11 Report does not address any of the matters above, and indeed it does not mention the collapse of WTC7 at all.  The scope of its summary is limited to the 102 minutes between the impact of AA11 on WTC1, and that building collapsing.


Before proceeding with investigating these matters, it is important reiterate that the 9/11 Commission Report was released over a year before the NIST report released its final report on the collapse of WTC1 and WTC2.  NIST has not yet released their final report on the collapse of WTC7.


In 2002 NIST was given the mandate of investigating the collapse of these three buildings, and their exhaustive investigation is both comprehensive and highly technical.  The NIST investigation is the official government-approved investigation into the collapse of these buildings.


The 9/11 Commission was not mandated to investigate the specific details of the collapses, nor, were it given this mandate, did it possess the expertise or resources to conduct such an investigation.


As Dr. Griffin’s book was published in 2005, it is understandable that it does not cite the final NIST report, which was not released until late 2005.


However it is not reasonable that Dr Griffin was unaware that NIST was conducting their investigation.  Between May 2002 and July 2004 NIST released six interim reports containing summaries of their progress to date in their investigations.


Furthermore, it is neither reasonable, nor understandable that Dr Griffin continues to raise these specific concerns over 18 months after the release of the final report by NIST.  This behaviour is one of intellectual dishonesty.


It is important at all times to bear the above points in mind, when considering the allegations raised by Dr Griffin.



6.         The claim inherent in the allegations is that the fires in the Twin Towers were not very big, very hot, or very long-lasting compared with fires in several steel-frame buildings that did not collapse.


7.         The claim inherent in the allegation is that, given the hypothesis that the collapses were caused by fire, the South Tower, which was struck later than the North Tower and also had smaller fires, should not have collapsed first.


8.         The claim inherent in the allegation is that WTC 7 (which was not hit by an airplane and which had only small, localized fires) also collapsed — an occurrence that FEMA admitted it could not explain.



In investigating these claims, I will first assess the nature of the fires in WTC1 and WTC2 and how they contributed to the collapse of the towers.  This directly addresses claims (6) and (7).


I will secondly analyse the fires on 9/11 in relation to other high-rise fires, in order to address the second part of claim (6).


Lastly, I will consider the fires in WTC7, in an effort to investigate claim (8).



In his book The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, Dr Griffin asserts:


A second problem is that the fires, especially in the South Tower and WTC-7, were quite small.  We have all seen the pictures of the giant fireball after the South Tower was hit.  This fireball did not signal a raging fire inside, however, but the opposite.  There was such a big fireball outside because the building was struck near a corner, so that much of the jet fuel burned up outside.  There was, accordingly, not much fuel to feed the fire inside.  Photographs show, in fact, that not a single floor beyond the fire’s starting location was hot enough to ignite paper or plastic or to break windows.


Griffin, D.R.; The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, pg.25


American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 were each estimated to be carrying 37,800 litres (10,000 gallons) of Jet-A fuel when they hit the towers.  AA11 hit between floors 94 and 98 of WTC1, and UA175 hit between floors 78 and 84 of WTC2.


Three videos are known to have captured the impact of AA11, however these do not capture the impact clearly.  In contrast, when UA175 impacted WTC2, the eyes of the world were already turned to the area.  The impact was witnessed by hundreds of thousands of people in the NY/NJ area, it was broadcast live on news networks such as CNN, and it was captured in dozens of videos and photographs.


A compilation of aircraft impact videos can we watched here:




As part of their investigation, NIST used these videos and photographs in a paper calculating how much fuel was burned in the initial fireball.


Adding up the contributions of the three fireballs and integrating over the 2.5 s that elapse before the fireballs begin to rise give an estimate of 1.6 X 10^3 kg of fuel consumed, assuming the energy content of the fuel to be 43 MJ/kg. This result should be considered a lower bound on the fuel consumption in the fireball for at least two reasons. First, it assumes complete combustion of the fuel. Second, it takes no account of the additional burning that occurred after the fireballs began to rise. This result is consistent with results based on the CFD simulations displayed in Fig. 6 of [8]. These calculations reproduce the fireball shown in Fig. 4 quite accurately for assumed total fuel burns varying from 10% to 25% of the estimated fuel load of 2.8 X 10^4 kg carried by the plane. In fact, if the time spanned was extended to 3–4 s (which ignores the increasingly important effects of fireball merging and buoyancy), then the fuel consumed in the fireballs according to this model would completely overlap the CFD based predictions of [8]. Thus, most of the fuel was available to serve as an ignitor for the fires that helped to destroy these buildings.




Allowing the higher threshold of fuel burned (25%) that still leaves over 28,000 litres of fuel to start fires in the building.


Most startling of all is Dr Griffin’s assertion that photographs show, in fact, that not a single floor beyond the fire’s starting location was hot enough to ignite paper or plastic or to break windows.  The fires were located inside a steel skyscraper, hundreds of feet in the air.  Every person who was in or near the area of impact for more than a matter of minutes is dead.  Not a single photograph exists that was taken in or near the area of impact.


Dr Griffin’s assertion is senseless, and his claim that photographs exist to support it is an outright lie – an ironic predicament considering the topic of his Essay.


What we do have available to us is countless photographs and hours of video footage of the outside of the towers, and the ten thousand pages of NIST’s comprehensive investigation.


On pages 25 to 28 of NIST NCSTAR1, diagrams depict visual observations of fire on the four faces of WTC1.  Extensive fires were observed on every floor from the 92nd to the 98th.


This itself refutes Dr Griffin’s claim that fires did not move beyond the immediate impact floors.


Images such as these:




Further illustrate the intensity of the fires in the WTC.


Page 43 of NIST NCSTAR1 has a diagram depicting observable fires in WTC2 on every floor from the 78th to the 83rd.


Again, it is important to reiterate that these are fires observed from the outside of the building.  They should be taken as an absolute minimum indicator of the extent of the fires.


It is important to remember that the design of the towers restricts the ability to determine events occurring inside.  In conventional skyscraper design, the façade is not load-bearing, and is usually predominantly made of glass.  In contrast, the exterior façade of the towers was comprised of tightly-spaced load-bearing steel columns, with very narrow windows between them.  As a result a smaller percentage of the façade allowed a visual observation of internal fires.


Numerous first responders and civilian witnesses reported that the fires in the WTC were so intense they could feel the heat on their faces from the street below.


Further testimony of the heat of the fires is found in the NYPD’s aviation unit, which was dispatched to the WTC shortly after the impact of AA11, and nearly collided with UA175.


As the helicopter approached the northwest corner of the WTC 1 roof, aircrew members observed that window washing machinery and equipment was in the way.  Then, one of the aircrew monitoring instruments on the aircraft noted that the engine temperature suddenly began to rise.  The pilot was informed, and the helicopter retreated from the approach, reporting that roof operations were not possible at that time.


NIST NCSTAR1-8 - The Emergency Response Operations, pg.51


NIST put extensive work in to determining the temperature of the fires in the World Trade Centre.


Conspiracy Theorist will often make statements similar to the following in the film 9/11 Mysteries:


A myth developed, fed by official sources through the media to a bewildered audience. Elements of the myth: the impact of the airplanes, gallons of burning jet fuel, steel melting, the buildings failing and suddenly imploding. In a mere 10 seconds, 110 stories hurtled earthward - pulverizing into dust.


9/11 Mysteries, TC:00:02:38:00


The above is a type of logical fallacy called a “Straw Man”.


To "set up a straw man" or "set up a straw-man argument" is to create a position that is easy to refute, then attribute that position to the opponent.




Dr Griffin also makes this mistake in his book:


A fourth problem is that, even had the fires been raging throughout the Twin Towers and Building 7, they would not have been nearly hot enough to melt steel, because ordinary hydrocarbon fires – such as fires based on jet fuel (kerosene) – can at most rise to 1700degrees Fahrenheit, whereas steel begins to melt only at about 2770degrees F.


Griffin, D.R.; The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, pg.26


NIST address the straw man argument of “melting steel” in their FAQ.


In no instance did NIST report that steel in the WTC towers melted due to the fires. The melting point of steel is about 1,500 degrees Celsius (2,800 degrees Fahrenheit). Normal building fires and hydrocarbon (e.g., jet fuel) fires generate temperatures up to about 1,100 degrees Celsius (2,000 degrees Fahrenheit). NIST reported maximum upper layer air temperatures of about 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,800 degrees Fahrenheit) in the WTC towers (for example, see NCSTAR 1, Figure 6-36). 


However, when bare steel reaches temperatures of 1,000 degrees Celsius, it softens and its strength reduces to roughly 10 percent of its room temperature value. Steel that is unprotected (e.g., if the fireproofing is dislodged) can reach the air temperature within the time period that the fires burned within the towers. Thus, yielding and buckling of the steel members (floor trusses, beams, and both core and exterior columns) with missing fireproofing were expected under the fire intensity and duration determined by NIST for the WTC towers. 




This is supported elsewhere by the experts, such as an article for the journal of The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS):


It is known that structural steel begins to soften around 425°C and loses about half of its strength at 650°C.


Eagar, W.T and Musso, C. (MIT)

Why Did the World Trade Center Collapse?  Science, Engineering, and Speculation

JOM, 53(12) (2001) pg 8-11



And other investigations have produced similar opinions from the experts:


"Steel loses about 50 percent of its strength at 1100°F," notes senior engineer Farid Alfawak-hiri of the American Institute of Steel Construction. "And at 1800° it is probably at less than 10 percent."


Debunking The 9/11 Myths

Popular Mechanics, March 2005



Chapter 6:10 – Thermal Environment Modeling, of NIST NCSTAR1 (starting page 121) recounts their investigation of the extent and temperature of fires in the WTC.


Using controlled experimentation techniques, NIST determined upper-limit temperatures of 1000degrees C; ample temperature to drastically reduce the load-bearing capacity of the columns and truss assemblies in the towers.



As demonstrated previously, Conspiracy Theorists often present the tower collapses as being primarily or even solely a result of fire, totally ignoring important aspects of the day’s events such as the aircraft impact and shredding of fire proofing.


These are vital elements of the collapse sequence, and cannot be overlooked.  These elements were quite different in each of the towers, and they help to explain why WTC2 collapse so much sooner than WTC1.


Ultimately, all building collapses are caused by gravity.  When the supports holding a mass off the ground are no longer capable of resisting the force of gravity which is drawing that mass towards the earth’s surface, the supports will fail and collapse will occur.


A greater mass has greater Gravitational Potential Energy (GPE) and thus requires stronger support.


In comparing the two towers on 9/11, it is immediately clear that WTC2 had much more mass above the impact point that WTC1.  There were more than twice as many floors above the impact point of WTC2 compared with WTC1.  This immediately means the gravity load acting on the damaged floor area is much greater.


Another important factor to consider is impact damage in each building.  The aircraft impacts contributed to the collapse by spreading jet-fuel through many floors, but they also severed columns and damaged floor trusses in the impact area.


UA175 hit the towers travelling considerably faster than AA11.  A relatively simple way to illustrate the significance of speed in impact is to calculate the total Kinetic Energy released in the impact.  Kinetic energy can be calculated using the formula:


KE = ½mv^2


Where m = the mass of the aircraft and v = the velocity of the aircraft.


At impact AA11 weighed approximately 110,000kg and was travelling at approximately 220ms^-1 (490 MPH).


KE = 0.5 X 110,000 (220 X 220)

KE = 0.5 X 110,000 X 48,400

KE = 2,662,000,000J

KE = 2.6GJ


In contrast, UA175, also weighing approximately 110,000kg, was travelling at over 260ms^-1 (590 MPH).


KE = 0.5 X 110,000 (260 X 260)

KE = 0.5 X 110,000 X 67,600

KE = 3,718,000,000J

KE = 3.7GJ


As you can see, UA175 had 42% more energy at impact than AA11.  This meant 42% more energy to sever columns and shred critical fireproofing from steel elements.  It meant 42% more energy to destroy floor truss assemblies.


These factors are important as they contributed to the sequence of events that resulted in building collapse.


A further important factor in the collapse sequence was the nature of fireproofing on the steel in the buildings.


The average thickness of spray-applied fireproofing on the trusses was ¾ inch.  In the mid-1990’s a decision was made to upgrade the fire protection by applying additional material onto the trusses so as to increase fireproofing thickness to 1-1/2 inches.  The fireproofing upgrade was applied to individual floors as they became vacant.  By September 11, 2001, a total of 31 stories had been upgraded, including the entire impact zone in WTC 1 (floors 94-98), but only the 78th floor in the impact zone in WTC 2 (floors 78-84).


FEMA World Trade Center Building Performance Study

Chapter 2: WTC 1 and WTC 2

Page 2-12



As we have previously seen, NIST’s summary of the collapse sequence is:


Based on this comprehensive investigation, NIST concluded that the WTC towers collapsed because: (1) the impact of the planes severed and damaged support columns, dislodged fireproofing insulation coating the steel floor trusses and steel columns, and widely dispersed jet fuel over multiple floors; and (2) the subsequent unusually large jet-fuel ignited multi-floor fires (which reached temperatures as high as 1,000 degrees Celsius) significantly weakened the floors and columns with dislodged fireproofing to the point where floors sagged and pulled inward on the perimeter columns. This led to the inward bowing of the perimeter columns and failure of the south face of WTC 1 and the east face of WTC 2, initiating the collapse of each of the towers.




It was the fire’s affect on the trusses that caused the sagging and ultimately led to the failure of the exterior columns, thus the thickness of the fireproofing on the floor trusses was a crucial element in how rapidly collapse occurred.


Steel columns perform well under compression, with the force of their gravity load applied directly along the length of the column.  However as the columns were pulled inwards the load started to include a lateral load.  Columns perform poorly under lateral loading.  For a simple practical example of the forces at play:


Take a regular drinking straw and apply force directly along its length.  Considering it is made only of thin plastic, it is surprisingly strong.  Now bend the straw slightly.  You will find it will fold over completely under only a small amount of force.  This is a crude example of the difference.


As the floor trusses sagged more and more the steel columns were pulled further into the building, and the lateral load increased.  At a critical point this lateral loading deformed the columns to the point that they were no longer capable of holding up the massive weight of the floors above.


This was further exacerbated because the aircraft impact had severed columns in the core and exterior, thus increasing the load on the remaining columns.


The bowing of the exterior columns was observed across the entire south (WTC1) and east (WTC2) face of the building, thus when the columns failed, the entire wall failed at once.  The results were catastrophic.


The asymmetrical nature of the failure caused the top of the building in each case to twist.  Although the columns in the buildings were large, they represented a tiny fraction of the total area of a given floor – the footprint of all of the core columns and exterior columns amounted to a little over 1% of the area of one floor.  Once the top section twisted only a matter of a few inches, these columns no longer lined up, and nothing was left to hold the upper mass of floors up.


In a faction of a second the upper mass began to descend.  Because the columns no longer lined up, the full impact energy was exerted on the light weight truss assembly of the first floor below the aircraft impact zone.


The floor trusses were designed only to carry the static gravity load of a single floor, not the mass of seventeen floors (WTC1) or thirty three floors (WTC2).  They certainly could not resist a dynamic load that great.  The enormous difference between a static and dynamic load can be easily illustrated.  Take a heavy bowling ball, and place it on your foot.  Then take the same bowling ball, lift it to eye height, and drop it on your foot.


The impact of the upper mass tore the floor truss free of the core and exterior columns, adding it to the mass crashing down onto the next lowest floor.  As the debris fell it increased in mass and accelerated due to gravity, meaning each consecutive floor had more force impacting it than the floor above it.


Given then, the sequence of events that led to the collapse, it is obvious why WTC2 collapsed first.  It suffered greater structural damage in the aircraft impact.  The crucial floor trusses had only half as much fireproofing against the fires.  And finally, WTC2 had a significantly larger mass bearing down on the already over-loaded crippled columns in the impact zone.



As previously mentioned, Conspiracy Theorists often compare the fires in the WTC towers to other high-rise fires, in an effort to demonstrate that the fires in the towers were minor, and should not have resulted in collapse.


Despite claiming in his essay that “several” high-rise buildings have suffered more severe longer-lasting fires without collapsing, in his book Omissions and Distortions Dr Griffin only provides one example:


One problem is that fire has never before caused steel-frame high-rise buildings to collapse, even when the fire was a very energetic, all-consuming one, such as the 1991 fire at One Meridian Plaza in Philadelphia.


Griffin, D.R.; The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, pg.25


The United States Fire Administration’s official report into the fire at One Meridian Plaza is available online:




The first important factor to consider is one of scale, as it is Dr Griffin’s assertion that by comparison the fires in the WTC1 were small.


According to the USFA report:


One Meridian Plaza has three underground levels, 36 above ground occupiable floors, two mechanical floors (12 and 38), and two rooftop helipads. The building is rectangular in shape, approximately 243 feet in length by 92 feet in width (approximately 22,400 gross square feet), with roughly 17,000 net usable square feet per floor. (pg.5)


In comparison, NIST NCSTAR1 tells us that the World Trade Centre towers each had 110 floors, of square dimensions 63m by 63m, with a rectangular core of dimensions 26m by 41m.


Each floor of the WTC was almost twice the size of a floor of One Meridian Plaza.  According to the USFA report the fire spread through 8 floors.  The aircraft impact area alone for WTC1 and WTC2 were both larger than the entire area affected by fire in One Meridian Plaza.  At the very least, the fires in each of the towers were significantly larger than the fires in One Meridian Plaza.


One Meridian Plaza did not collapse.  Before determining whether this suggests the towers should not have collapsed, it is important to consider the specific details of each incident.  Firstly, and most obviously, One Meridian Plaza was not hit by a jet airliner travelling at high speed.  It did not suffer any structural damage at all prior to the fires starting.  Secondly, while the fires in the WTC were started in large areas of multiple floors simultaneously by jet fuel, the fire in One Meridian Plaza:


started in a vacant 22nd floor office in a pile of linseed oil-soaked rags left by a contractor.



Also of important consideration is the design of the buildings – as we know the structural design of the twin towers contributed significantly to their collapse.  The report for One Meridian Plaza tells us:


The building frame is structural steel with concrete floors poured over metal decks. All structural steel and floor assemblies were protected with spray-on fireproofing material. The exterior of the building was covered by granite curtain wall panels with glass windows attached to the perimeter floor girders and spandrels.


The building utilizes a central core design, although one side of the core is adjacent to the south exterior wall. The core area is approximately 38 feet wide by 124 feet long and contains two stairways, four banks of elevators, two HVAC supply duct shafts, bathroom utility chases, and telephone and electrical risers.


The building has three enclosed stairways of concrete masonry construction. Each stairway services all 38 floors. The locations of the two stairways within the building core shift horizontally three or four times between the ground and the 38th floor to accommodate elevator shafts and machine rooms for the four elevator banks.



The elevator shafts are constructed of concrete and masonry and extend from the first floor or lower levels to the highest floor served by the individual elevator banks. (pg. 5-6)


A significant difference is the presence of concrete and masonry in the building.  Concrete and masonry are both far more resistant to fire than steel.  Another major  difference is revealed in the photographs in the appendix of the USFA report.  While the columns for the twin towers were located solely in the core and around the perimeter, One Meridian Plaza had a more conventional design with evenly spaced columns throughout the floor area.  This is of significance as it was failure of the exterior columns in the towers that initiated the collapse.


A summary of the timeline for the One Meridian Plaza fire reveals that though it burned for a long time, it did not ever reach the level of intesity Dr Griffin claims.


February 23, 1991


2023                           - smoke detector activated on 22nd floor

2027 (+4 mins)            - Philadelphia Fire Department dispatches first alarm.  On arrival they report fire visible in one window, and heavy smoke.

- A Staging Area is established on the 20th floor, and a Tactical Command Post on the 21st floor.  An attack team begins fire fighting on the 22nd floor.

2030 – 2130 (+1 hr)    -The fire spreads to the 23rd and 24th floors.


February 24


0215 (+6 hrs)               - The fire has spread to the 25th floor and extending to the 26th.

0700 (+11 hrs)             - A decision is made to evacuate the building after structural damage and consultation with a structural engineer led to the belief that there was a possibility of pancake collapse in the damaged floors.

                                    -At this point the fire was under control on floor 22 to 24 and burning on floors 25 and 26, and continuing to spread upwards.

1500 approx (+19hrs)  - The fire reaches the 30th floor and activates 10 sprinkler heads which put the fire out.


As the timeline suggests, and the report reveals, although the fire burned across a total of eight floors, at no time was it burning on all eight at once, and indeed, at its worst extent it spread across five floors, but took eight hours to do so.


In contrast, on 9/11 intense fires were raging on multiple much larger floors within minutes of the fires starting.


A final question to ask is what damage the fire actually did to One Meridian Plaza.  Photos at the end of the report reveal a striking feature.  The floor trusses in the affected floors sagged between columns – up to three feet in places.  Unlike the WTC light-weight trusses, the photographs reveal the floors in One Meridian Plaza were supported by heavy steel beams.  Yet despite this, they still sagged considerably.


It was the sagging of floor trusses in the towers that caused the collapse of those buildings, due to the unique design which placed all of the supporting columns on the perimeter.



As previously discussed, another building fire often cited by Conspiracy Theorists is the February 12, 2005 fire in the Windsor Tower in Madrid, Spain.  I have previously demonstrated that the building had a very different design to the WTC – having a concrete core – and that the steel components of the building did suffer collapse.  But what about the size of the fires?


Conspiracy Theorists will often cite photographs such as this one:



To demonstrate how intense fires were in the building.


However, like with One Meridian Plaza, the photographs are deceptive due to scale.


We can find out crucial information about the size of the building here:




The Windsor Tower had 32 stories, of which 29 were above ground.  It stood 106 meters high, and had a total floor area of 20,000m^2.


Assuming that the fire burned through the entire area of all 32 floors, the total floor area thus engulfed in fire was 20,000m^2.


We can calculate an estimate of total volume of the fire affected area by calculating an average height per floor.


106m high divided by 29 above ground floors equals an average of 3.65m per floor.  Allowing the same average height for each of the below-ground floors, this gives us a total fire volume of area x height = 20,000 x 3.65 = 73,000m^3.


The diagram on page 18 of NIST NCSTAR1-1 tells us that the five aircraft impact stories of WTC1 were also each 3.65m high, and that six of the aircraft impact stories in WTC2 were 3.6m high.  The 78th floor of WTC2 was 4.26m high.


Each floor of the WTC was approximately 3,900m^2.  Thus we can determine the total volume of the aircraft impact area in each tower.


WTC1 = (3,900 x 5) x 3.65 = 71,175m^3

WTC2 = (3,900 x 6) x 3.65 + (3,900 x 4.26) = 102,024m^3


As we can see, the total impact area alone of WTC1 is almost as large as the entire volume of the Windsor Tower, and the impact area alone of WTC2 is considerably larger than the entire volume of the Windsor Tower.  Just as with One Meridian Plaza, although the fires may seem comparably large, or even bigger, this perception is a result of the fires occurring in a building the fraction of the size of the towers.



Dr Griffin’s allegation regarding WTC7 contains the inherent claim that WTC7 collapsed.  However components of this claim are that the building was not hit by an aircraft, and did not suffer significant fires.


There is also an implied claim in his allegation, which is that WTC7 should not have collapsed at all.


NIST have not completed their investigation into the collapse of WTC7.  However in June 2004 they released NIST-SP 1000-5 – Progress Report on the Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center.


This included Appendix L – Interim Report on WTC7.




This Interim Report provides information on damage suffered by WTC7 due to the collapse of WTC1 and WTC2 and the extent of fires, both based on eye witness testimony.  These are covered from page L-17 to L-26.  They suggest significant structural damage and extensive fires.


Other independent investigations have uncovered similar information.  Mark Roberts, a New York City tour guide and amateur 9/11 Conspiracy Theory “debunker”, has written an extensive paper specifically on WTC7.


World Trade Center Building 7 and the Lies of the “9/11 Truth Movement”

Online Version:           http://wtc7lies.googlepages.com/introduction

PDF:                            http://www.911myths.com/WTC7_Lies.pdf


This paper has collated together extensive eye witness testimonies as to the condition of WTC7 prior to its collapse, including the state of:



The fires:                     http://wtc7lies.googlepages.com/eyewitnessaccountsofwtc7fires


We walked over by number Seven World Trade Center as it was burning and saw this 40-plus story building with fire on nearly all floors.

–FDNY Lieutenant Robert LaRocca

Just when you thought it was over, you're walking by this building and you're hearing this building creak and fully involved in flames. It's like, is it coming down next? Sure enough, about a half an hour later it came down.

–FDNY Lieutenant James McGlynn

All morning I was watching 7 World Trade burn, which we couldn't do anything about because it was so much chaos looking for missing members.

–Firefighter Marcel Klaes


When the building came down it was completely involved in fire, all forty-seven stories.
–FDNY Assistant Chief Harry Myers

Then we had to move because the Duane Reade, they said, wasn't safe because building 7 was really roaring.

–FDNY Chief Medical Officer Kerry Kelly.

At this point Seven World Trade was going heavy, and they weren't letting anybody get too close. Everybody was expecting that to come down.

–Firefighter Vincent Massa

Building #7 was still actively burning and at that time we were advised by a NYFD Chief that building #7 was burning out of control and imminent collapse was probable. –PAPD P.O. Edward McQuade



Structural Damage:     http://wtc7lies.googlepages.com/accountsofwtc7damage


The major concern at that time was number Seven, building number Seven, which had taken a big hit from the north tower. When it fell, it ripped steel out from between the third and sixth floors across the facade on Vesey Street. We were concerned that the fires on several floors and the missing steel would result in the building collapsing.

 –FDNY Chief Frank Fellini

2. At that time, other firefighters started showing up, Deputy Battalion Chief Paul Ferran of the 41 Battalion, and James Savastano of the First Division assigned to the Second Battalion showed up and we attempted to search and extinguish, at the time which was small pockets of fire in 7 World Trade Center. We were unaware of the damage in the front of 7, because we were entering from the northeast entrance. We weren't aware of the magnitude of the damage in the front of the building.

– FDNY Captain Anthony Varriale

 [Shortly after the tower collapses] I don’t know how long this was going on, but I remember standing there looking over at building 7 and realizing that a big chunk of the lower floors had been taken out on the Vesey Street side. I looked up at the building and I saw smoke in it, but I really didn't see any fire at that time.

 –Chief Nick Visconti

 A few minutes after that a police officer came up to me and told me that the façade in front of Seven World Trade Center was gone and they thought there was an imminent collapse of Seven World Trade Center.

 –FDNY Lieutenant William Melarango

 I think they said they had seven to ten floors that were freestanding and they weren't going to send anyone in.

–FDNY Chief Thomas McCarthy


And the FDNY’s decision to evacuate the area:



They backed me off the rig because Seven was in dead jeopardy, so they backed everybody off and moved us to the rear end of Vesey Street. We just stood there for a half hour, 40 minutes, because Seven was in imminent collapse and finally did come down.

–Firefighter Thomas Smith   

 Chief Nigro directed me to continue monitoring conditions at the site. Specifically to monitor number 7 World Trade Center. We were very concerned with the collapse potential there, and to do whatever I could do to ensure site safety in that no additional people became injured.

 –FDNY Deputy Chief Harold Meyers 

We were concerned that the fires on several floors and the missing steel would result in the building collapsing.  So for the next five or six hours we kept firefighters from working anywhere near that building, which included the whole north side of the World Trade Center complex. 

–Chief Frank Fellini

We made searches. We attempted to put some of the fire out, but we had a pressure problem. I forget the name of the Deputy. Some Deputy arrived at the scene and thought that the building was too dangerous to continue with operations, so we evacuated number 7 World Trade Center.

 –Captain Anthony Varriale 

I remember him screaming about number 7, No. 7, that they wanted everybody away from 7 because 7 was definitely going to collapse, they don't know when, but it's definitely going to come down, just get the hell out of the way, everybody get away from it, make sure you're away from it, that's an order, you know, stuff like that. 

–Firefighter Edward Kennedy


If these eye witness testimonies are accurate, WTC7 suffered greater structural damage, relative to its overall size, than either of the two towers.  If these eye witness testimonies, from dozens and dozens of firemen are accurate, WTC7, at 174m tall, 47 stories and 174,000m^2 of rentable office space, suffered the most extensive high-rise fire in history.  Unlike other smaller high-rise fires I have previously mentioned in this paper such as One Meridian Plaza and the Windsor Tower, the fires in WTC7 raged without any fire-fighting operations conducted against it for seven hours.


The full scale of the fires in WTC7 can perhaps best be illustrated by a photograph taken by Aman Zafar.  This photograph of Manhattan was taken some time after both WTC1 and WTC2 collapsed.  The thick column of smoke pouring into the sky is from the fires burning unchecked in WTC7.



Videos such as the beginning of this one capture the enormous volume of smoke coming from WTC7.





The fires in WTC1, WTC2, and WTC7 on September 11, 2001 were not, as Dr Griffin and other Conspiracy Theorists claim, small, cool, or localised.  They were, in fact, the worst high-rise fires in history.


All three buildings suffered crippling structural damage prior to the fires starting.  The South Tower collapsed much sooner than the North Tower because it suffered substantially more structural damage from the aircraft impact, and because the devastated structural columns were bearing over twice as much structural mass.


The inherent claim that the fires in the Twin Towers were not very big, very hot, or very long-lasting compared with fires in several steel-frame buildings that did not collapse is rejected.


The inherent claim that the South Tower should not have collapsed first is rejected.


The inherent claim that WTC 7 (which was not hit by an airplane and which had only small, localized fires) also collapsed is partially rejected.  WTC7 did collapse, it was not hit by an aircraft, however, the fires were not small or localized.


The implied claim that WTC7 should not have collapsed is rejected.


Claim No: 8 ->