Eyewitness accounts of the withdrawal from WTC 7

1.  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   

2.  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  http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110382.PDF

3.  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 http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110217.PDF

4.  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  http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110313.PDF

5.  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 http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110502.PDF

6.  Early on, there was concern that 7 World Trade Center might have been both impacted by the collapsing tower and had several fires in it and there was a concern that it might collapse. So we instructed that a collapse area --

Q. A collapse zone?

A. Yeah -- be set up and maintained so that when the expected collapse of 7 happened, we wouldn't have people working in it. There was considerable discussion with Con Ed regarding the substation in that building and the feeders and the oil coolants and so on. And their concern was of the type of fire we might have when it collapsed. They shut down the power, and when it did collapse, the things that they were concerned with would have been [sic]. That's about it. –Chief Frank Cruthers

7.  There was concern. I had gone up to take a look at it, because I knew that the telephone company building, which is 140 West Street, was next to 7 World Trade Center, and there was a concern that if 7 World Trade came down, what would happen to this building? We went in there, we checked it out. There were some people in there. We made them evacuate and I went in the back to see what was happening.  I went back and I reminded whoever the chief was, I don't know if it was Chief McKavanagh or Chief Blaich, that with 7 World Trade Center in danger of collapsing, you had to be careful, because Con Edison had big transformers in the back that supplied the lower half of Manhattan. So we had to be concerned about electricity, that this may be energized or not be energized. –Firefighter Eugene Kelty Jr.

8.  "We heard reports all day long of 7 World Trade possibly coming down. ...We heard that all day long, all the warnings." –Firefighter Christopher Patrick Murray

9.  It could have been an hour, hour and a half we were doing that before we were ordered to move away from that part of Tower No. 1 because there was an imminent danger of collapse of World Trade Center No. 5 and 7.  –Firefighter Vandon Williams http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110282.PDF

10.  Civilian photographer Tom Franklin: “Much of what happened to me on September 11 is a blur, but this moment I clearly remember: It was 4:45 p.m., and all the firemen and rescue workers were evacuating Ground Zero after word came that a third building -- WTC 7 -- was ready to fall.”   http://archives.cjr.org/year/02/2/franklin.asp

11.  Unidentified speaker in video: "Keep your eye on that building, it'll be coming down soon."

12.  CBS-TV Reporter Vince DeMentri, who sneaked past security barriers to get close to the scene:
...Building 7 was going to collapse. That appears to be what has happened now. I don't know exactly how many stories the building is, Dan, but standing at the base of the building and watching it burn about an hour ago, it looked to be on the order of 50, 60 stories. [If anyone has the audio leading up to “...Building 7 was going to collapse,” let me know. I’m curious to know why the CT websites include only this much of the clip.]  http://www.911podcasts.com/view.php?cat=4&med=0&ord=Name&strt=0&vid=24&epi=216&typ=0&form=0

13.  So that was basically we watched that one come down. It was on fire first, I think the fourth floor was on fire they said. We were like are you guys going to put that fire out? I was like, you know, they are going to wait for it to burn down and it collapsed. So that's when I knew high rise buildings you know (inaudible).

Q: You were still there?

A: Yes, so basically they measured out how far the building was going to come, so we knew exactly where we could stand. 

Q: So they just put you in a safe area, safe enough for when that building came down?

A: 5 blocks. 5 blocks away. We still could see. Exactly right on point, the cloud just stopped right there. Then when that building was coming down, that same rumbling.  –EMT Decosta Wright

14. We went to get the car. We were inside the perimeter, more or less -- that's where the car was -- of where Seven World Trade Center was. We started back going east, I guess it is. ...We were inside this perimeter although we didn't realize it at the time we saw a rig with the compartments opened. We stopped. They were actually reversing. I kind of pulled up along side them. Murray yelled out the window “Your compartments are open.” The guy yelled something back at us. They kept backing up. 

We went forward to imagine it’s the corner of Murray and West Street. Just as we were approaching it, we saw person run north in front of the car, and then Joe Mazzarella who was sitting in the passenger seat just started screaming “Reverse! Reverse! Reverse! Reverse!” I didn’t even look. I just threw it in reverse and punched it. We flew backwards without being able to see out the rear, and building Seven came down in front of us –Fire Marshal John Coyle http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110406.PDF

15.  At this point, I moved up all the way to stairwell B. We got the lady out, passed her down, then they were trying to dig out, I believe it was a second Battalion Chief and I waited and stayed there with them until we were ordered—well, we were ordered several times, but the Captain of, I think it was a rescue company or a squad refused to leave.  Finally he gave up, he said there was nothing he could do and we all left that area. This is in the collapse zone of tower 7.

At this point, I went down back to the middle area of the pile and I proceeded to make my way to the north side of the towers. At that point, I ran into Lieutenant Simms, who had another complement of Ladder 20 there. At this point, I guess I had formally reported into Deputy Chief Visconti. He was up on the North End. We waited until tower 7 collapsed and at this point, we went into the area and assessed the damage that was done to the buildings and to see if we could control the fires that resulted from the collapse of tower 7. –Captain Richard Weldon http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110307.PDF

16.  At that time Seven World Trade Center was burning and in was danger of collapsing. ...I guess it was a Chief was saying clear the area, because they were worried about number Seven World Trade Center coming down and burying guys who were digging. So basically we went back to the rig because they were clearing that area out. It took about three hours for Seven World Trade Center to actually come down. –Firefighter Kevin McGovern http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110301.PDF

17.  I remember later in the day it was getting close that they were more concerned about Seven coming down.  I remember later on in the day as we were waiting for Seven to come down, they kept backing us up Vesey, almost like a full block. They were concerned about Seven coming down, and they kept changing us, establishing a collapse zone and backing us up. 

As soon as it came down, everybody got up and tore ass west down Vesey Street. Everybody was trying to get into this building. I remember there were 150 guys trying to get through two revolving doors with full gear. Everyone is screaming. Guys were trying to smash the glass with their halogens to get through and ended up freaking out. Everybody was shell-shocked.

That’s when Salka came up and he said all right now that Seven was down you can start getting closer and down things. There was no collapse threat anymore. –Firefighter Vincent Massa

18.  Eventually they had ordered everybody away from the area again because of building 7.
–Lieutenant James Walsh  http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110459.PDF

19.  We stayed in this area for a while, and we started wandering around, and we came around to where 6 and 7 were, and actually 7, we were coming down this corner going trying to find something to do, and that's when they were telling us 7 is going to go, 7 is going to go, so we kind of backed away.
–Firefighter Paul Vasquez  http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110397.PDF

20.  Q: Did 7 collapse yet?

A: 7 hasn’t collapsed yet. We were being told by -- I guess everybody was being a little insubordinate that day. Everyone wanted to do as much as they could, but we were told 5 minutes [to cease rescue operations on the pile], I don't know how many times. –Firefighter Gerard Suden

21.  They had figured they knew that building was going to come down. It was just a question of time, and everybody was awaiting that. –Firefighter Russ Stroebel

22.  A Battalion Chief was assigned to us. We took our apparatus to West Street to the north bridge, on that side over there, where we began to operate. We had identified different members who were deceased and trapped in rigs. We were about to proceed our operation there and this was in the afternoon, I would say approximately maybe 2:00 roughly, where we started to operate and then they asked us to fall back again due to the potential of 7 World Trade Center collapsing.
At that time, we had fallen back to probably opposite Stuyvesant High School, I believe it was on the west side there.

Q. That's uptown a little bit.

A. Right. They had us fall back to there. We stayed at that position until exactly when 7 collapsed. When 7 collapsed, we responded again. We had an Engine Company, a spare Engine Company with us and ourselves. We responded to just behind 7, which was, I think it was Greenwich, was it Washington or Greenwich? I think it was Greenwich. Is this Greenwich?

Q. It could be. I don't have a bigger map.

A. We turned the corner, 7 had just collapsed, the block that led into 7.

Q. Pretty sure that's Greenwich.

A. Greenwich and Park was covered with debris, there were burning autos and all debris. It was starting to extend into the buildings on both sides of the block. We went to hydrants in that area. We had off duty guys in our cells, but the hydrants had no water. We did whatever we could. The rigs actually were starting to become in danger of lighting up themselves.

We called trying to get water returned to us over here. Finally one of the members thought, we used it for a good period of time, we forced the door on one of the buildings there and used the water from the roof tanks. It was left in the gravity tanks. We took a two and a half line out of one of the doors. We were able to advance down Greenwich, stopping, putting fire out in the street, the cars and from getting into exposures.

They were worried about 7 at the time. The decision was made not to do it, not to get anybody else hurt. That's when we backed up and they said let's wait for this other building before we continue any work, because where the bridge was  in the direct path of 7. It was the north bridge where we were looking initially.

We operated with the Tower Ladder there effectively on those buildings that were within our reach. Then the other part was unfortunately we couldn't do anything at the pedestrian bridge but the concern of 7, which they had no idea which way it was going to collapse and they just knew it was going to collapse and they positioned us outside of it. 

The company to the south of us was -- it was a double digit -- I don't know if it was 14. I'm just stabbing at numbers now. It was just so much debris between cars, it was hard to see what was good and bad, stuff like that. But that was our main position right there. I would say from approximately about at least an hour, hour and a half between 4 and 5. They made us evacuate due to the fear of 7 coming down.
The Chief and myself went down to that area where we they wanted us to work. Seeing what we would need; torches, air bags, anything else like that to operate at that bridge. 

The concern there again, it was later in the afternoon, 2, 2:30, like I said. The fear then was Seven. Seven was free burning. Search had been made of 7 already from what they said so they had us back up to that point where we were waiting for 7 to come down to operate from the north back down. –Captain Robert Sohmer http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110472.PDF

23.  I remember finding Engine Company 6's rig, stripping that rig of fittings and hose to hook up to anybody else. I remember at that time also they were worried about Building 7 because when the second tower came down, they were worried about parts of – actually, when the first tower came down, they were worried about parts of Building 7 collapsing, so I remember getting into Building 7 and searching. I got separated from the crew that I had gone down with, because I stayed at the pump panel. They had gone around the West Street side of the building and into the rubble.

I remember coming out of the building now because they were afraid of Building 7 coming down, and all the other buildings around it getting knocked down. So they took us out of the building. –Firefighter Anthony Salerno http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110309.PDF

24.  Then we found out, I guess around 3:00 o'clock, that they thought 7 was going to collapse. So, of course, we've got guys all in this pile over here and the main concern was get everybody out, and I guess it took us over an hour and a half, two hours to get everybody out of there. So it took us a while and we ended up backing everybody out, and that's when 7 collapsed.  Basically, we fell back for 7 to collapse, and then we waited a while and it got a lot more organized, I would guess. –Lieutenant William Ryan http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110117.PDF

25.  But anyway, more to the point, a rumor started to develop that tower 7 was going to fall on us or nearby us. Having just lived through the collapse and having Dr. Kelly just live through the collapse with both of us getting buried, this was not a very pleasing feeling. It really does make me understand a lot about psychological stress that can occur in these events because I would not have had the same worry about this if I hadn't just come through one of them. We went outside to speak to the Chief, the head Chief. His name is Chief Haring. Great guy. But he said, you know, it's not going to be a problem. Tower 7 may collapse. It's not going to be anywhere near here. It's not going to be a problem. But we were really concerned about this.

By the time we were about done with this, we interacted with Chief Haring again. He basically was incredulous and said: "What are you crazy? You've moved into the collapse zone, and if this collapse occurs, the dust cloud is going to knock out that entire park. You're going to be useless there. You've made it worse."

About midway into setting up physically the second triage area, hanging the IV bags and everything, a tremendous noise occurs, and it's so loud that everybody rushes to the rear of the Pace University building, all the doctors, all the nurses. When the noise was over, we went to the front. The dust cloud from tower 7, just like Chief Haring said, wiped out that park. If we had had any supplies there, any doctors there, they wouldn't have been killed. I mean, it wasn't that massive the debris that fell on the park, but they would have been useless. The dust cloud went all the way up to the door of Pace University, up the stairs, across the street, right up to the door, the lobby door. –Dr. David Prezant

26.  "Then we were just hanging out watching building 7 ready to go." –Firefighter Steve Piccerill

27.  We were down there for a while until we were ordered off, because they were worried about Seven coming down. –Firefighter Michael Palone http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110314.PDF

28.  I know when the Lieutenant told us where to go, that wasn’t the correct staging area, cause we were still too close to the buildings. They wanted everyone away from it. That’s when there was a third building that collapsed around that time.
Q: Building Seven, which would be over here.
A: Okay, 7 World Trade, that one collapsed.
Q: 7 World Trade collapsed a little later.
A: Yeah, a lot later. –EMT Alwish Moncherry

29.  From there,  I think that's when 7 was going to come down. So they backed everybody out, somewhere near Church & Trinity, I guess. –Firefighter Peter Metzger

30.  Eventually later in the day we had to evacuate that site because number Seven collapsed. Prior to its collapse, we evacuated all the supplies, the doctors, and moved over to Pace University into the lobby, and they set up another medical area. Most injuries we treated were eye injuries from the debris, basically cleaning out people's eyes. –EMS Lieutenant John Mendez

31.  I think they were fearing about 7 World Trade coming down. –Lt. Anthony Mancuso.

32.  At that point they were worried that 7 was coming down so they were calling for everyone to back out. –Firefighter Matthew Long  http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110021.PDF

33.  7 World Trade Center? I couldn’t even watch that. I said that’s enough. I refused to watch that. I took R-and-R. I said you guys can watch that one. But they got streams and they contained the fire. I mean, the objective was nobody else got killed, the fire did not jump the street.  –Battalion Chief Frank Vallebuona http://www.firehouse.com/terrorist/911/magazine/gz/vallebunoa.html

34.  We were starting to gather over there, and we heard that there was a building in danger of collapse. This was a couple hours later, maybe, and that huge building -- it was on that block. When that came down, we all ran down to the west side. –Firefighter Stephen Jezycki

35.  Lieutenant Lowney spoke to, asked us to leave the area, they were concerned about 7 World Trade Center collapsing.  –Firefighter George Holzman 

36.  Then at one point they chased us out of there for fear of collapse of a building; I believe it was Seven World Trade. So they got us out of there because they didn't know which way that building was going to collapse. When Seven World Trade did collapse, we were in the Woolworth Building. You couldn't even see. It was unbelievable. You couldn't even see your hand in front of your face. That's how much dust and debris was flying around. –FDNY Captain John Henricksen

37.  We heard a mayday for everybody to get out of the building (Verizon Bldg., next to WTC 7) -- no, I'm sorry, an "urgent," three "urgents," and we came out of the building. I'd say that was like an hour and a half, two hours later. We were then positioned on Vesey Street between North End and the West Side Highway because there was an imminent collapse [warning] on 7 World Trade, and it did collapse.  –Firefighter Brian Fitzpatrick  http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110256.PDF

38.  The only thing that had me really frustrated was they wasn't really trying to let us go back down there. (After the collapse of the second building). I understand after it was unsafe. Cause I guess after that 7 came down. Well 7 didn't come down until like 4, 5 o'clock. So I was just wondering, they just kept us cooped in there for a long time.  –EMT Jarjean Felton

39.  During the search we were ordered by one of the battalions to move north above -- towards Stuyvesant High School -- under the overpass at Chambers Street, because at that point it was feared that Six [sic: Seven] World Trade Center was going to collapse. It did so later in the afternoon.  –Lieutenant Francis Farrington  http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110320.PDF

40. Captain Michael Currid, the president of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association, said that some time after the collapse of the Twin Towers, “Someone from the city's Office of Emergency Management” told him that building 7 was “basically a lost cause and we should not lose anyone else trying to save it," after which the firefighters in the building were told to get out. (Murphy, Dean E., 2002. September 11: An Oral History. New York: Doubleday pp. 175-76)

41.  While we were searching the subbasements (of building 6) they decided that Seven World Trade Center which was across the street was going to collapse, so they called us out. We were so far down we couldn’t hear them, but we came out after we searched the subbasements. Actually we came out on the Seven World Trade Center parkway street when came out they were calling us on the radio to tell us to get out. I then reported that the search was negative and then they wouldn’t let anybody near the site pretty much because Seven World Trade Center was going to come down. –Battalion Chief Frank Congiusta  http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110425.PDF

42.  We were ordered down from the tower ladder because of a possible collapse at Tower 7.
–Firefighter Pete Castellano  http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110398.PDF

43.  The reason we were given for why we were moving was that 7 World Trade Center was going to collapse or was at risk of collapsing. So we must have been somewhere in this area where we would have had a problem with that. ...They wanted us to move the treatment sector because of 7 World Trade Center was imminently to collapse, which, of course, it did –Paramedic Joseph Cahill

44.  The rest of the day we were unloading trucks we were just doing whatever little things we could do, but they were waiting for 7 World Trade Center to fall. –Firefighter Timothy Burke

45.  "We were asked to go out of that area due to a risk of collapse in 7 WTC. "
–PAPD P.O. Thomas Johnson  http://www.thememoryhole.org/911/pa-transcripts/pa-police-reports02.pdf  page 10.

46.   ...And that was one of the directions from the command post, to make sure we clear the collapse zone from 7 and this is a 600-foot-tall building, so we had to clear a 600-foot radius from that building. –Battalion Chief John Norman http://www.firehouse.com/terrorist/911/magazine/gz/norman.html

47.  "The three of us along with 2 firemen searched that area until we were told to leave due to 7 possibly collapsing."  –PAPD P.O. Thomas Hering http://www.thememoryhole.org/911/pa-transcripts/pa-police-reports02.pdf p.13.

48.  All later attempts to return to the WTC were stopped by the pending, and eventual collapse of Building 7 and the uncontrolled fires.  –PAPD P.O. Lawrence Guarneri http://www.thememoryhole.org/911/pa-transcripts/pa-police-reports03.pdf  page 34

49.  A while later, an NYFD supervisor approached and ordered the rescuers away from the area because 7 WTC was in danger of collapse also. –M. DeFilippis, PAPD P.O.
http://www.thememoryhole.org/911/pa-transcripts/pa-police-reports03.pdf  page 49

50.  At about 1300 hrs between repeating officers fruitless efforts to locate fellow officers and the warning of building number Seven's possible collapse I started to walk uptown on West Street in hope of locating the PAPD Command Center.  –Christopher Bergmann, PAPD P.O. http://www.thememoryhole.org/911/pa-transcripts/pa-police-reports03.pdf  page 52

51.  An FDNY supervisor deemed the area we were in unsafe, and assisted people out of the immediate area. –M. McAdams, PAPD P.O. http://www.thememoryhole.org/911/pa-transcripts/pa-police-reports03.pdf page 72

52.  Reports of gas main leaks, bombs, small arms fire and buildings about to collapse forced us to again relocate further north on West Street.  –Daniel A. Carbonaro, PAPD Lieutenant  http://www.thememoryhole.org/911/pa-transcripts/pa-police-reports03.pdf page 76

[The next three quotes are similar...from written reports by officers in the same command]
53.  Due to fire and instability of buildings at the WTC site we were directed to the MCC gym.
– PAPD P.O. Thomas Mancini, http://www.thememoryhole.org/911/pa-transcripts/pa-police-reports03.pdf page 86

54.  Due to fire and instability at the WTC site we were redirected to the MCC gym.
–PAPD P.O. Quirk   http://www.thememoryhole.org/911/pa-transcripts/pa-police-reports03.pdf page 88

55.  Due to the fire and instability of the buildings at the WTC site we were directed to the MCC gym.
–PAPD P.O. Christensen  http://www.thememoryhole.org/911/pa-transcripts/pa-police-reports03.pdf page 89

56.  Several attempts were made to assist the trapped, but we were kept out due to the uncontrolled fires and other building collapsing around us.  –PAPD P.O. Patrick Versage  http://www.thememoryhole.org/911/pa-transcripts/pa-police-reports03.pdf page 95

57.  Returned to the site on 2-3 occasions...in an effort to help with evacuation but was stopped due to the imminent collapse of 7 WTC.  –PAPD LT. William Oorbeek http://www.thememoryhole.org/911/pa-transcripts/pa-police-reports03.pdf page 97

58.  Unfortunately we could not do much more because of fear that other buildings surrounding the Trade Center were going to come down. –PAPD P.O. John McClain   http://www.thememoryhole.org/911/pa-transcripts/pa-police-reports04.pdf page 33

59.  For the remainder of the day , we made trips to the scene to assist in the search. Due to confusion and the threat of damaged buildings falling we were forced to retreat each time. We were on West & Vesey when # 7 collapsed. –PAPD Sgt. Stone   http://www.thememoryhole.org/911/pa-transcripts/pa-police-reports04.pdf page 60

60.  So we were doing searches, stretching lines, we were doing everything that we could possibly do. We were kind of overwhelmed at the task at hand. Like I said we operated for about three and half hours and then we went to take breather, and as we moved out of the area we weren’t permitted back in the area by that time by a number of Chiefs that were in charge. –FDNY Lieutenant Brendan Whelan  http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110360.PDF

61.  Once they got us back together and organized somewhat, they sent us back down to Vesey, where we stood and waited for Seven World Trade Center to come down.  –Firefighter Frank Sweeney  http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110113.PDF

62.  But they weren’t really getting [sic] guys get too deep into it because of the possible pending collapse of Seven World Trade. ...We were staged there a good part of the afternoon until Seven finally did collapse.   –Firefighter David Moriarty   http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110228.PDF

63.  …they told us to evacuate the area for tower number Seven, building Seven, when they knew that was coming down… –Firefighter Dominick Muschello  http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110249.PDF

64.  …Captain Verraile from 24 Engine said, “Hey, let’s just back everything off here because this building is coming down.” –Firefighter Howie Scott http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110365.PDF

65.  Then they said that the 47 story hotel building—I think it’s number Seven—was about to come down. ...We were around for the rest of the afternoon. At about 5:30 that did come down. –Firefighter Edward Mecner   http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110391.PDF

66.  They were saying building Seven was going to collapse, so we regrouped and went back to our rig. We waited for building Seven to come down. –Firefighter James Wallace  http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110409.PDF

67.  At 5:20, No. 7 finally falls. They've been waiting for it to go so they can move the firemen and search-and-rescue teams in. With the thunderous collapse, firemen bolt up from where they've been camped, on the south side of the Embassy Suites. Some have been sitting on plush hotel furniture carted into the street, eating food from the Mexican restaurant next door. There's a stampede over pickaxes and oxygen tanks. They head out toward the crushed fire trucks. "They're looking for their brothers," says an ambulance driver. http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/sept11/features/5183/index.html

68. Now, World Trade Center 7 was burning and I was thinking to myself, how come they're not trying to put this fire out? I didn't realize how much they had because my view was obstructed. All I could see was the upper floor. At some point, Frank Fellini said, now we've got hundreds of guys out there, hundreds and hundreds, and that's on the West Street side alone. He said to me, Nick, you've got to get those people out of there. I thought to myself, out of where? Frank, what do you want, Chief? He answered, 7 World Trade Center, imminent collapse, we've got to get those people out of there. – Deputy Chief Nick Visconti http://www.firehouse.com/terrorist/911/magazine/gz/visconti.html

Here’s a woman who thought the FDNY “brought the building down”
69. Indira Singh, a volunteer EMT: "What happened with that particular triage site is that pretty soon after noon, after midday on 9/11, we had to evacuate that because they told us Building 7 was coming down. ... I do believe that they brought Building 7 down because I heard that they were going to bring it down because it was unstable, because of the collateral damage. ... By noon or one o'clock they told us we had to move from that triage site up to Pace University, a little further away, because Building 7 was gonna come down or being brought down. ... There was another panic around four o'clock because they were bringing the building down and people seemed to know this ahead of time, so people were panicking again and running." (KPFA, 4/27/2005)

70. "So when I get to the command post, they just had a flood of guys standing there. They were just waiting for 7 to come down. ... I made it down Vesey Street to just in front of the overpass of 7 World Trade. People were saying don't stand under there, it's going to come down. ... So at that point we were a little leery about how the bridge was tied in, so no one was really going onto it, and then they were also saying 7 was going to come down. They chased everyone off the block." – FDNY Chief Thomas McCarthy (
FDNY interview, 10/11/2001)

71. "And at that point they were worried that 7 was coming down so they were calling for everyone to back out. ... Because they were just adamant about 7 coming down immediately. I think we probably got out of that rubble and 18 minutes later is when 7 came down."  – Firefighter Matthew Long: (
FDNY interview, 10/9/2001)

72. Fire Captain Brenda Berkman: "We no sooner got going on something there when a chief came along and said, 'Everybody's got to leave the area. We're afraid that Seven World Trade is going to fall down.'  (Susan Hagen and Mary Carouba, Women at Ground Zero, 2002, p. 213)


"After being ordered back because of the fear that yet another building was about to collapse (7 World Trade Center, 40+ stories), Brenda [Berkman] and her crew went to find other firefighters who might have some tools or a radio. ... That afternoon, 7 World Trade Center came down. 'We had cleared an enormous collapse zone for that, and it still wasn't big enough. When the thing came down, the rubble and the dust came across the West Side Highway, over and past the rubble from the towers that was there.'" (Linda Willing, "Report from Ground Zero: The World Trade Center Collapse," FireWork, 9/2001)

73. Byron Pitts, CBS News correspondent: "About an hour ago, World Trade Center building number 7 collapsed. ...It was the one calamity that was not a surprise. Police had evacuated the area hours ago, fearful building number 7 would indeed fall down." (CBS News, 9/11/2001)

74. Kansas City Star: "About 4:30 p.m., word went out to evacuate the area. Officials were worried that Building 7 of the Trade Center complex would collapse." (David Hayes, "Amid despair, photographer's work brought hope," Kansas City Star, 3/28/2004)

75. Mark Jacobson, reporter, New York Magazine: "Hours later, I sat down beside another, impossibly weary firefighter. ... Then, almost as a non sequitur, the fireman indicated the building in front of us, maybe 400 yards away. 'That building is coming down,' he said with a drained casualness. 'Really?' I asked. At 47 stories, it would be a skyscraper in most cities, centerpiece of the horizon. But in New York, it was nothing but a nondescript box with fire coming out of the windows. 'When?' 'Tonight ... Maybe tomorrow morning.' This was around 5:15 p.m. I know because five minutes later, at 5:20, the building, 7 World Trade Center, crumbled." (Mark Jacobson, "The Ground Zero Grassy Knoll," New York Magazine, 3/27/2006)

76. Christine Haughney, reporter, Washington Post: "Then a policeman directed me north. The Solomon Smith Barney building--Building Seven--was about to collapse." (Chris Bull and Sam Erman, At Ground Zero, 2002, p. 17)

77. Peter DeMarco, reporter, New York Daily News: "Seven or eight blocks down Greenwich Street, the No. 7 World Trade building, a smaller, forty-story structure, was on fire. The street was closed; the building was going to collapse." (Chris Bull and Sam Erman, At Ground Zero, 2002, p. 97)

78. Fire Chief Joseph Pfeifer: "Yes, I watched 7. At one point, we were standing on the west side of West Street and Vesey. And I remember Chief Nigro coming back at that point saying I don't want anybody else killed and to take everybody two blocks up virtually to North End and Vesey, which is a good ways up. And we stood there and we watched 7 collapse." ("WTC: This Is Their Story," Firehouse, 4/2002)

79. EMT Jason Charles: "So we started heading over to where Building 7 was at and they were like Building 7 is going to collapse, you can't go over there, this and that, and there was another building that they thought was going to collapse that was like right behind the triage center, the building that we were in." (
FDNY interview, 1/23/2002)

80. Fire Lieutenant Roy David: "At Pace University we had -- we set up -- I'm sorry, we set up in that lobby of that building, the lobby and the actual whole first floor. There was a threat of collapse of building number seven, so 225, we had to evacuate it." (
FDNY Interview, 10/12/2001)

81. Liz Gonzalez, reporter, Telemundo/Channel 47: "They started evacuating the area because they thought a third building was going to go down. We decided to stay. We saw the third building crash." (Newseum, Running Toward Danger, 2002, p. 209)

82. Sara Kugler, reporter, the Associated Press: "I saw hundreds of firefighters leaning against buildings, sitting on trucks, eating fruit and water that the Red Cross was handing out. 'Where are all the injured?' I asked. 'They are not letting us in. It's not stable,' said the firefighters. ... All of a sudden Seven World Trade Center started to collapse." (Newseum, Running Toward Danger, 2002, p. 210)

83. Fire Chief Frank Fellini:  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. Eventually around 5:00 or a little after, building number seven came down." (FDNY Interview, 12/3/2001)

84.  Firefighter TJ Mundy: "The other building, #7, was fully involved, and he was worried about the next collapse." (Report from Ground Zero by Dennis Smith. Penguin, 2002)

85. Harry Meyers, NYPD Safety Chief "My biggest concern at the time was #7. It was burning, and I felt that was a danger to the rescuers and to any trapped survivors there might be. ...We were all pretty much on board that tower 7 was going to fall. We just didn't know when and in what direction. (Report from Ground Zero by Dennis Smith. Penguin, 2002. p. 160

86. Deputy Chief Peter Hayden "We still had 7 World Trade Center, which was burning also. We were worried about that collapsing, and it did collapse, about six hours later. There was a conscious decision to let that building burn and just keep everybody clear." (
Report from Ground Zero by Dennis Smith. Penguin, 2002. p. 32) 

 Waiting for WTC 7 to fall