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Background Attack Aftermath Evidence Misinformation Analysis Memorial

WTC 7 Collapse Foreknowledge

Reports of Foreknowledge of the Collapse of Building 7 in the Oral Histories

The oral histories released on August 12, 2005 contain many reports of warnings of the collapse of WTC Building 7 at various times during the day. Most of the warnings were from after about 4 PM.

Joseph Cahill -- Paramedic (E.M.S.)
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. But I honestly don't remember.
They wanted us to move the treatment sector because of 7 World Trade Center was imminently to collapse, which, of course, it did.
Interview, 10/15/2001, New York Times

Tiernach Cassidy -- Firefighter (F.D.N.Y.), Engine 3
Then, like I said, building seven was in eminent collapse. They blew the horns. They said everyone clear the area until we got that last civilian out. We tried to give another quick search while we could, but then they wouldn't let us stay anymore. So we cleared the area. ... So yeah, then we just stayed on Vesey until building seven came down.
Interview, 12/30/2001, New York Times

Pete Castellano -- Firefighter (F.D.N.Y.), Ladder 149
We were ordered down from the tower ladder because of a possible collapse at Tower 7.
Interview, 12/28/2001, New York Times

Jason Charles -- E.M.T. (E.M.S.), Battalion 13
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.
Interview, 1/23/2002, New York Times

Frank Congiusta -- Battalion Fire Chief (F.D.N.Y.)
While we were searching the subbasements, they decided that Seven World Trade Center, which was across the street, was going to collapse. So they called us out.
When I came out, they were calling us on the radio to tell us to get out. Then I 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.
Interview, 1/8/2002, New York Times

Louis Cook -- Paramedic (E.M.S.)
We got to Chambers and Greenwich, and the chief turns around and says, 'There's number Seven World Trade. That's the OEM bunker.' We had a snicker about that. We looked over, and it's engulfed in flames and starting to collapse.
We hear over the fire portable, 'Everybody evacuate the site. It's going to collapse.' Mark Steffens starts yelling, 'Get out of here! Get out of here! Get out of here! We've got to go! We've got to go! It's going to collapse.'
We pulled the car over, turned around and just watched it pancake.
Interview, 10/17/2001, New York Times

Frank Cruthers -- Fire Chief (F.D.N.Y.)
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 --
-- be set up and maintained so that when the expected collapse of 7 happened, we wouldn't have people working in it. Thre was considerable discussion with Con Ed regarding the substation in that building and the feeders and the oil coolands and so on. And their concern was of the type of fire we might have when it collapsed.
Interview, 10/31/2001, New York Times

Roy David -- Fire Lieutenant (F.D.N.Y.), Battalion 8
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.
Interview, 10/12/2001, New York Times

Frank Fellini -- Fire Chief (F.D.N.Y.)
The major concern at that time at that particular location 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.
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.
Interview, 12/3/2001, New York Times

Brian Fitzpatrick -- Firefighter (F.D.N.Y.), Ladder 22
We were then positioned on Vesey Street between North End and the West Side Highway because there was an imminent collapse on 7 World Trade, and it did collapse.
Interview, 12/6/2001, New York Times

Joseph Fortis -- E.M.T (E.M.S.), Battalion 13
When the third building came down, we were on that corner in front of the school, and everybody just stood back. They pulled us all back at the time, almost about an hour before it, because they were sure -- they knew it was going to come down, but they weren't sure. So they pulled everyone back, and everybody stood there and we actually just waited and just waited and waited until it went down, because it was unsafe.
Interview, 11/9/2001, New York Times

Ray Goldbach -- Fire Captain (F.D.N.Y.), Executive Assistant to the Fire Commissioner
There was a big discussion going on at that point about pulling all of our units out of 7 World Trade Center. Chief Nigro didn't feel it was worth taking the slightest chance of somebody else getting injured. So at that point we made a decision to take all of our units out of 7 World Trade Center because there was a potential for collapse.
Made the decision to back everybody away, took all the units and moved them all the way back toward North End Avenue, which is as far I guess west as you could get on Vesey Street, to keep them out of the way.
Interview, 10/24/2001, New York Times

George Holzman -- Firefighter (F.D.N.Y.), Ladder 47
We stayed there for quite sometime when I don't even know who, I think it was someone, Lieutenant Lowney spoke to, asked us to leave the area, they were concerned about 7 World Trade Center collapsing.
Interview, 1/17/2002, New York Times

Edward Kennedy -- Firefighter (F.D.N.Y.), Engine 44
That was the only Mayday that I remember, and to tell you the truth, the only guy that really stands out in my mind that I remember being on the radio was Chief Visconti.
I remember him screaming about 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.
Interview, 1/17/2002, New York Times

Matthew Long -- Firefighter (F.D.N.Y.), Ladder 43
And at that point they were worried that 7 was coming down so they were calling for everyone to back out.
So I waited for -- we waied for the boss, Lieutenant Rohan, in the middle of the rubble and we all walked out together back to the West Side Highway and pretty much hung out by the marina when 7 came down.
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.
Interview, 10/9/2001, New York Times

Thomas McCarthy -- Fire Chief (F.D.N.Y.)
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.
Interview, 10/11/2001, New York Times

Kevin McGovern -- Firefighter (F.D.N.Y.), Engine 53
At that time Seven World Trade Center was burning and was in danger of collapsing. After a while the lieutentant said, "Let's move, let's get out of here, let's take a break."
Actually I think at that point just as we were leaving, guys -- I don't know who it was. 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 we basically 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. So we were off to the side.
Interview, 12/11/2001, New York Times

Vincent Massa -- Firefighter (F.D.N.Y.), Engine 64
At this point Seven World Trade Center was going heavy, and they weren't letting anybody get too close. Everybody was expecting that to come 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.
Interview, 12/4/2001, New York Times

Daniel Nigro -- Department Cheif (F.D.N.Y.)
The most important operational decision to be made that afternoon was the collapse had damaged 7 World Trade Center, which is about a 50 story building, at Vesey between West Broadway and Washington Street. It had very heavy fire on many floors and I ordered the evacuation of an area sufficient around to protect our members, so we had to give up some rescue operations that were going on at the time and back the people away far enough so that if 7 World Trade did collapse, we wouldn't lose any more people.
We continued to operate on what we could from that distance and approximately an hour and a half after that order was given, at 5:30 in the afternoon, 7 World Trade Center collapsed completely.
Interview, 10/24/2001, New York Times

Christopher Patrick Murray -- Firefighter (F.D.N.Y.), Engine 205
Probably about 4:00 o'clock, 5:00 o'clock, our radios went dead, because we heard reports all day long of 7 World Trade possibly coming down and I think at 5:30 that came down.
Interview, 12/12/2001, New York Times

William Ryan -- Fire Lieutenant (F.D.N.Y.)
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.
Interview, 10/18/2001, New York Times

Thomas Smith -- Firefighter (F.D.N.Y.)
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.
Interview, 12/6/2001, New York Times

Robert Sohmer -- Fire Captain (F.D.N.Y.)
As the day went on they started worrying about 7 World Trade Center collapsing and they ordered an evacuation from that area so at that time, we left the area with the other companies, went back to the command post on Broadway
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.
Interview, 1/17/2002, New York Times

James Wallace -- Firefighter (F.D.N.Y.)
They were saying building seven was going to collapse, so we regrouped and went back to our rig. We went to building four or three; I don't know. We were going to set up our tower ladder there. They said no good because building seven is coming down.
Interview, 12/29/2001, New York Times

Rudolf Weindler -- Fire Lieutenant (F.D.N.Y.)
I ran into Chief Coloe from the 1st Division, Captain Varriale, Engine 24, and Captain Varriale told Chief Coloe and myself that 7 World Trade Center was badly damaged on the south side and definitely in danger of collapse. Chief Coloe said we were going to evacuate the collapse zone around 7 World Trade Center, which we did.
Interview, 1/15/2002, New York Times

Decosta Wright -- E.M.T. (E.M.S.)
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.
Yes, so basically they measured out how far the building was going to come, so we knew exactly where we could stand.
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, the same thing, that same rumbling.
Interview, 10/11/2001, New York Times

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