Can Skyscrapers Fall Over on Their Side?

Thomas B

Active Member
You seem to be arguing from the point that the fire chief had the option to defeat the fire, but decided not to. But you have not supported this insulting assumption (which you share with the truthers) with any evidence.
There was no water to fight the fires so a decision was made not to try. I imagine that sometimes creative solutions are found when water is scarce, but this requires devoting resources -- equipment, personel, and time -- to the task. A decision was made not to prioritize this.

This decision, it turned out, resulted in the total loss of the entire building, fortunately, with no loss of life. It's a little unclear to me whether the decision not to try solve the water problem for WTC7 and just let the fires burn, was made on the assumptions that the fires would burn out, or knowing that the building would probably collapse. I would be suprised if the latter were the case. But, like I say, I don't have any official documentation/evidence about the thought process.

I don't think there's anything insulting about this. It's clear from the FEMA and NIST reports that the water issue was the key reason for making the decision not to fight the fires. You can describe this as "they didn't have the option" to fight it. To me, it looks like prioritizing among the many issues they had to deal with that day.
 

NoParty

Senior Member.
There was no water to fight the fires so a decision was made not to try. I imagine that sometimes creative solutions are found when water is scarce, but this requires devoting resources -- equipment, personel, and time -- to the task. A decision was made not to prioritize this.

This decision, it turned out, resulted in the total loss of the entire building, fortunately, with no loss of life. It's a little unclear to me whether the decision not to try solve the water problem for WTC7 and just let the fires burn, was made on the assumptions that the fires would burn out, or knowing that the building would probably collapse. I would be suprised if the latter were the case. But, like I say, I don't have any official documentation/evidence about the thought process.

I don't think there's anything insulting about this. It's clear from the FEMA and NIST reports that the water issue was the key reason for making the decision not to fight the fires. You can describe this as "they didn't have the option" to fight it. To me, it looks like prioritizing among the many issues they had to deal with that day.
I'm very interested in what other options you believe there were,
(re. your assertion that "creative solutions are found when water is scarce")...

If you're saying that no one even considered trying to find a "creative" solution,
then I agree with Mendel, that that is a pretty insulting suggestion.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
I'm very interested in what other options you believe there were,
(re. your assertion that "creative solutions are found when water is scarce")...

If you're saying that no one even considered trying to find a "creative" solution,
then I agree with Mendel, that that is a pretty insulting suggestion.
I'm sure various options were considered before it was decided not to devote scarce resources to fire suppression in WTC7.

The people in charge obviously decided that the fires in WTC7 weren't worth the (extraordinary) effort, and risk to human life, it would take to fight them (without a nearby supply of water, as was available in the other buildings, according to NIST.)

What I'm not sure about is whether the loss of the entire building was considered a likely consequence of that decision. Surely, they would not have treated that as a trivial consequence.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
To take one example I happen to be familiar with, in 1949 thirteen members of a crew of smokejumpers died in Mann Gulch after parachuting into a wilderness area where there were no human beings for miles. Wildland firefighting is universally known to be very dangerous, and heroic, work. But the aim is not to save lives.
Yes. Since you're familiar with it (as am I), you know that mission was not expected to be as dangerous as it turned out to be. Mistakes happen.
Today, wildland firefighters can (and do) survive such situations easily.
We're discussing whether it would have been reasonable to assume that, if left to burn, WTC7 would, at worst, fall straight down into its own footprint, i.e., not fall over.
We have not discussed this here. But NIST has:
Article:
15. Why did WTC 7 collapse, while no other known building in history has collapsed due to fires alone?

The collapse of WTC 7 is the first known instance of a tall building brought down primarily by uncontrolled fires. The fires in WTC 7 were similar to those that have occurred in several tall buildings where the automatic sprinklers did not function or were not present. These other buildings, including Philadelphia's One Meridian Plaza, a 38-story skyscraper that burned for 18 hours in 1991, did not collapse due to differences in the design of the structural system (see the answer to Question 9).
It would have been reasonable to assume WTC7 would not collapse.

But you do not know what the fire chief assumed:
I haven't seen the report in which this decision process is described.
The decision was to not risk any crew lives in trying to save the building. The decision is validated by the fact that no lives were lost when WTC7 collapsed.

Don't simply strawman assumptions about this decision.

And please also note that your assumption that the WTC7 fire could have been controlled/extinguished (if only some "urgency" had been applied) is also completely unsupported. If that was impossible, there was no alternative decision to be made.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
. I imagine that sometimes creative solutions are found when water is scarce,
dude, if you know a way to fight a building fire without water, PLEASE let someone know immediately, firefighters have been looking for a "creative solution" like that for centuries!
 

Woolery

Active Member
Article: Fight Fire Without Water
Enter special hazard fire protection systems, commonly referred to as waterless sprinklers or clean agent systems. These sprinklers use inert gases or liquid chemicals to smother flames. By avoiding a rush of water during a fire, damage to interiors and critical infrastructure is minimized.

GASES AND CHEMICALS
Special hazard fire protection systems that are considered replacements for halon either use a halocarbon compound (compounds containing carbon, hydrogen, bromine, fluorine, iodine, and chlorine) or an inert gas such as argon or nitrogen, says Chris Jelenewicz, an engineering program manager with the Society of Fire Protection Engineers.

“The inert gas system works by displacing oxygen, while chemical agents absorb combustion heat,” adds Al Thornton, global manager for DuPont Fire Extinguishers.
Source:
https://www.buildings.com/articles/30648/fight-fire-without-water
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
@Jeffrey Orling
Article:
Simply stated, firefighting foam is a stable mass of small, air-filled bubbles with a lower density than oil, gasoline, or water. Foam is made up of three ingredients: water, a foam concentrate, and air. Water is mixed with a foam concentrate (proportioned) to form a foam solution. This solution is then mixed with air (aspirated) to produce a foam which readily flows over fuel surfaces.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
But we agree it's dangerous work, right. And chiefs send their crews into harm´s way. Not primarily to save lives.
Wrong.
Article:
The objective of fighting a forest fire is the prevention of damage to people, property and assets. In addition it significantly contributes to environmental protection.

Just start sourcing your claims.

(and don't think I didn't notice you substituting "dangerous" for "deadly" there)

also, this topic was about skyscrapers tipping over
 

Gamolon

Active Member
But we agree it's dangerous work, right. And chiefs send their crews into harm´s way. Not primarily to save lives.
Chiefs send their crews into situations where there is the possibility for loss of life or injury. They are expecting their crew to practice proper firefighting techniques and proper utilization of equipment to ensure their safety.

They don't send their crews in expecting them to perish or get injured.
 

Gamolon

Active Member
They believe multiple columns must have been caused to fail simultaneously to bring the building down.
No, this is incorrect.

Truthers believe multiple columns must have been caused to fail simultaneously because they look only at the portion of the collapse that shows when the roofline starts to descend as a whole and say that only explosives could make a building come down all at once, symmetrically. They say that a fire induced collapse would have parts of the structures failing at different times.

They ignore the observed bulge in WTC7 prior to collapse. They ignore the creaking of the structure. They ignore the penthouse falling into the building almost 7 seconds prior to the roofline descending.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
Chiefs send their crews into situations where there is the possibility for loss of life or injury. They are expecting their crew to practice proper firefighting techniques and proper utilization of equipment to ensure their safety.

They don't send their crews in expecting them to perish or get injured.
Yes, this is exactly my view. There is a well-known risk of injury and even death, and firefighters knowingly run this risk even when there are no people to save.

this topic was about skyscrapers tipping over
I also keep trying to remind us of this. The question is whether WTC7 was deliberately allowed to collapse, because the fire chiefs were confident that it would not tip over.
 

Gamolon

Active Member
The question is whether WTC7 was deliberately allowed to collapse, because the fire chiefs were confident that it would not tip over.
You mean you think that there is the possibility the chiefs let the WTC7 burn and decided to NOT fight the fire because the chiefs knew it was going to collapse and knew it was not going to tip over when it did collapse?
 

Thomas B

Active Member
You mean you think that there is the possibility the chiefs let the WTC7 burn and decided to NOT fight the fire because the chiefs knew it was going to collapse and knew it was not going to tip over when it did collapse?
I personally think that's a very unlikely scenario. I think the chiefs thought they could let the fires burn themselves out. Since the building had been evacuated, they didn't see the fires there as a high priority. And getting water to them would have been very difficult.

But I suspect that the WTC7 experience has changed firefighters' views on this point. If they were in the same situation today, I think they'd approach the fires with a greater sense of urgency. (I.e., they'd do more to try to get some water on them, allocating their resources differently.)

There seem to be some differences of opinion about this on this forum. Interesting ideas.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
Can you also explain the difference between "allowed to collapse" and "DELIBERATELY allowed to collapse"?
I was just emphasizing the idea of doing it conscious of the possibility of collapse, vs. doing the same things assuming the building wouldn't collapse.
 

Gamolon

Active Member
I personally think that's a very unlikely scenario. I think the chiefs thought they could let the fires burn themselves out. Since the building had been evacuated, they didn't see the fires there as a high priority. And getting water to them would have been very difficult.
If you think it's an unlikely scenario, then why are you questioning it in your statement below?

The question is whether WTC7 was deliberately allowed to collapse, because the fire chiefs were confident that it would not tip over.
 

Gamolon

Active Member
I was just emphasizing the idea of doing it conscious of the possibility of collapse, vs. doing the same things assuming the building wouldn't collapse.
This doesn't make sense.

When you say "doing it" above, what is "it "?
 

Thomas B

Active Member
@Gamolon, I think you might just be coming a bit late to the thread (which was actually branched off from another one a while back). I can see why it seems strange without that context, but I don't have time to summarize the discussion at the moment. Sorry.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
I think the chiefs thought they could let the fires burn themselves out. Since the building had been evacuated, they didn't see the fires there as a high priority.
you have shown zero evidence for this
But I suspect that the WTC7 experience has changed firefighters' views on this point. If they were in the same situation today, I think they'd approach the fires with a greater sense of urgency. (I.e., they'd do more to try to get some water on them, allocating their resources differently.)
you have shown zero evidence for this

this looks like wishful thinking on your part

If they were in the same situation today, I think they'd approach the fires with a greater sense of urgency. (I.e., they'd do more to try to get some water on them, allocating their resources differently.)
and in hindsight, that would have been worse than what they did do, allocating the resources where they could actually make a difference—so why do you assume this would be the lesson?

you are assuming an unknown lesson learned from an unknown decision process that arrived at a decision with a known good outcome

if this thread is not in "Rambles" yet, it sure deserves to be
 

econ41

Senior Member
I think it's important to keep on topic here. We're discussing whether it would have been reasonable to assume that, if left to burn, WTC7 would, at worst, fall straight down into its own footprint, i.e., not fall over.
I agree with your attempt to put the debate back on topic. None of us, including you, have been addressing that topic. Whoever derailed debate onto the topic of the vulnerability of Steel Frames to collapsing from fire. That other topic is still available for serious debate but has little relevance to the subject of "toppling".
You seem to be arguing that a conscious decision was made to let the building collapse, which assumes that it was known that it would collapse. (I'm not sure that's what NIST said. On my reading, there was a mystery to be solved and they found a hitherto unknown kind of progressive collapse in the course of solving it.)
False assumption and incorrect argument.
1) The decision was made to let the building take its chances. The basis of that decision (a) The primary goal of firefighting had been satisfied. Viz all occupants had escaped. (2) The secondary goal - minimise building damage - was assessed to be unachievable given resource limitations viz no water for sprinklers or to support active fire fighting, and the already high loss of lives plus indications that collapse was likely. (And "pull back" was the correct emergency management decision - stated more rigorously no one has ever validly shown it was a "wrong call".)

It was NOT "known that WTC7 would collapse". But the collapse was assessed as highly likely.

2) We are not discussing what NIST said. And speculating about what NIST said years later has ZERO relevance to the correctness or otherwise of decisions made on the day.
The thing is that if that decision was consciously made then all the risks associated with letting a skyscraper collapse in downtown Manhattan (in the middle of an ongoing search and rescue operation) were also consciously, deliberately accepted.
If we ignore the vagueness of definitions and related speculation your assertion is correct. At least this core of it: "The decision was deliberately made in the setting of the known context relevant at the time." If you want to claim it was wrong do so explicitly and outline your reasons.
I haven't seen the report in which this decision process is described. If you have, do let me know where I can read about it.
We already have enough data to support a reasoned discussion of the decision-making process.
 
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econ41

Senior Member
you have shown zero evidence for this
Correct. And we have enough relevant data available to avoid the discursive meandering.
you have shown zero evidence for this

this looks like wishful thinking on your part
Agreed. And the insulting reflection claiming a lack of urgency by the emergency responders is "disturbing".
and in hindsight, that would have been worse than what they did do, allocating the resources where they could actually make a difference—so why do you assume this would be the lesson?

you are assuming an unknown lesson learned from an unknown decision process that arrived at a decision with a known good outcome
Repeating the speculation based insults does not make either the speculation valid or the insults warranted.
if this thread is not in "Rambles" yet, it sure deserves to be
Agreed - tho I think it would be preferable to explicitly identify the two distinct topics - split them to separate threads and continue with specific on-topic discussion(s).

Then, if a bit of light hearted comment is allowed - there is a greater likelihood of us observing aeronautical exploits by members of the family
Suidae. ;)
 

Jeffrey Orling

Senior Member
I wonder if the engineers advising FDNY believed that the tower collapse would not seriously damage the nearby buildings.. essentially collapsing straight down into a reasonably compact pile (which it did)???
The top block of 2WTC did not collapse completely straight down... but the mechanical damage was clearly more significant on the SE quadrant.
 

econ41

Senior Member
I wonder if the engineers advising FDNY believed that the tower collapse would not seriously damage the nearby buildings.. essentially collapsing straight down into a reasonably compact pile (which it did)???
Ain't 20/20 hindsight wonderful? But, zero base, I think a competent engineer advising on scatter from a collapse would expect that near enough "straight down" would be the gross mechanisms. i.e. NOT tipping bodily. That expectation was somewhat reinforced on the day by the two examples of the Twin Towers collapses which went "straight down" but with a lot of sideways "ejections" or "sheet toppling" of perimeter columns. So, as fires progressed in WTC7 and collapse became more likely the advisors had two very relevant and very recent examples.

At that stage if I was advising I would be predicting debris scatter similar to Twin Towers reduced somewhat due to lesser height. In the real event, the core collapsed first whilst the perimeter shell remained mostly intact meant that scatter was less than it could have been - even in comparison with Twin Towers which saw extensive peel off of perimeter columns at a stage earlier than the same mechanism affected WTC 7
 

Jeffrey Orling

Senior Member
Ain't 20/20 hindsight wonderful? But, zero base, I think a competent engineer advising on scatter from a collapse would expect that near enough "straight down" would be the gross mechanisms. i.e. NOT tipping bodily. That expectation was somewhat reinforced on the day by the two examples of the Twin Towers collapses which went "straight down" but with a lot of sideways "ejections" or "sheet toppling" of perimeter columns. So, as fires progressed in WTC7 and collapse became more likely the advisors had two very relevant and very recent examples.

At that stage if I was advising I would be predicting debris scatter similar to Twin Towers reduced somewhat due to lesser height. In the real event, the core collapsed first whilst the perimeter shell remained mostly intact meant that scatter was less than it could have been - even in comparison with Twin Towers which saw extensive peel off of perimeter columns at a stage earlier than the same mechanism affected WTC 7
Twins had panelized facade... most of which "peeled" and fell away... with some as far as all the way over to the WFC... Most mass of course came more or less straight down. This is how one would expect a massive building to collapse. But there are some cases of towers tipping... which I believe has asymmetrical at their base.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
It was NOT "known that WTC7 would collapse". But the collapse was assessed as highly likely.
This is an important fact that I haven't been able to document. What's your source for this? It would be great to settle it. I'm interested in any record of the way this assessment was made and how it subsequently figured in the emergency response on 9/11.
you are assuming an unknown lesson learned from an unknown decision process that arrived at a decision with a known good outcome
It's a bit strange to describe the total loss of a 47-story skyscraper as a "good outcome" of a firefighting decision. Since the investigation found that putting out the fires would have saved the building, it's fair to say that the decision not to fight them, caused the collapse.

This makes the decision process very interesting to me. (And it should be of general interest, to firefighters and policymakers.)

Of particular interest in this thread is whether a collapse could be counted on to be as orderly as it in fact was. Though truthers exaggerate the "controlled" nature, of the collapse, it's interesting to know whether what in fact happened really was the worst case scenario. And whether the chiefs could have known that in advance.

If they did see total collapse as "highly likely", did they have worse outcomes in mind too?

But, I agree that it may be a good idea to end it here. Unless one of us has found a report that goes through the decision process we're talking about, we can't move the discussion away from speculation about what it would have been "reasonable" for the decision makers to think.

As always, thanks for your time.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
I wonder if the engineers advising FDNY believed that the tower collapse would not seriously damage the nearby buildings..
The image of "engineers advising FDNY" during those seven hours is interesting. Do we know who they were? Did NIST interview them? Do we know what the pre-collapse observational basis for predicting the collapse was?

(I know there has been talk about a "bulge". Based mostly on readings of the oral histories and the Fire House interviews. But it doesn't, as far as I can tell, ultimately figure into NIST's critical column theory, right?)

Edit: link to @Mick West's helpful comment from 2013 on the bulge.: https://www.metabunk.org/threads/easy-wtc-7-video-to-debunk.1557/post-42390

Anyway, if you can point me to any documentation you have about how engineers were advising firefighters on the ground, that would be really helpful. Cheers.

NOTE: This thread is dealing with a minor detail in a larger issue that I think is important. The idea that firefighters and engineers expected WTC7 to collapse was originally part of the truther's argument for demolition. The reasoning was that, since no building like this had ever before collapsed under these circumstances, firefighters could not have imagined that WTC7 would collapse. The only way they could know that the building was coming down, they argue, is if they had been told by people who were in the know about the demolition. So getting the basis of their "foreknowledge" right is important in discussing this with truthers. But that's something for another thread, perhaps.
 
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econ41

Senior Member
This is an important fact that I haven't been able to document.
Tough. Why do you need to document it? The decision was made to cease active fire fighting. In the face of two major resource shortages. Thar is a decision we expect emergency managers to make. In real-time. In the face of a changing situation. And not subject to ill-informed hindsight re-assessment by curious laypersons.
What's your source for this?
It was the known scenario when this was an active topic of debate about 10-12 years ago. I am under no obligation to maintain detailed records for the benefit of persons who enter the debate from zero base and 10 years later and are not prepared to approach discussion following reasoned processes of discussion.
It would be great to settle it. I'm interested in any record of the way this assessment was made and how it subsequently figured in the emergency response on 9/11.
Why would it be great to satisfy your curiosity? The fact is simple - the decision was made AND NOBODY - you included - has presented a valid claim that the Emergency Command decision was wrong. Stop trying to nitpick details when the "bigger picture" is both understood and correct.
It's a bit strange to describe the total loss of a 47-story skyscraper as a "good outcome" of a firefighting decision. Since the investigation found that putting out the fires would have saved the building, it's fair to say that the decision not to fight them, caused the collapse.
That is probably the most ludicrous twisting of reality seen so far in this thread. The rest of your comment adds nothing to the discussion.
 

econ41

Senior Member
The image of "engineers advising FDNY" during those seven hours is interesting. Do we know who they were?
Probably not. And I doubt we know their grandmother's names or phone numbers.
Did NIST interview them? Do we know what the pre-collapse observational basis for predicting the collapse was?
Was NIST tasked with reviewing the Emergency Command decisions? Yes as has been discussed at length on many occasions.
(I know there has been talk about a "bulge". Based mostly on readings of the oral histories and the Fire House interviews. But it doesn't, as far as I can tell, ultimately figure into NIST's critical column theory, right?)
Actually, you are wrong with that assertion.
Anyway, if you can point me to any documentation you have about how engineers were advising firefighters on the ground, that would be really helpful. Cheers.
Try learning something about how emergency management command structures operate and the part of "expert advisors" play in advising the Commander who is in the "Hot Seat". Every DISPLAN I am aware of has provision for specialist advice relevant to the specific needs of the emergency incident. I would be very surprised if firefighters in NYC did not have access to specialists in including engieering.
NOTE: This thread is dealing with a minor detail in a larger issue that I think is important. The idea that firefighters and engineers expected WTC7 to collapse was originally part of the truther's argument for demolition. The reasoning was that, since no building like this had ever before collapsed under these circumstances, firefighters could not have imagined that WTC7 would collapse. The only way they could know that the building was coming down, they argue, is if they had been told by people who were in the know about the demolition. So getting the basis of their "foreknowledge" right is important in discussing this with truthers. But that's something for another thread, perhaps.
Despite you interest in presenting pro-truther apologetics, they are not within the scope of either the thread topic or the current derailo.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Since the investigation found that putting out the fires would have saved the building,
source this, please
AFAIK the fires caused the collapse; I don't remember the investigation stating that putting them out was an option.
Though truthers exaggerate the "controlled" nature, of the collapse, it's interesting to know whether what in fact happened really was the worst case scenario. And whether the chiefs could have known that in advance.
"just asking questions"
Econ just explained he'd have estimated in advance that this would happen.

It's a bit strange to describe the total loss of a 47-story skyscraper as a "good outcome" of a firefighting decision.
no lives lost, no injuries from the collapse
please investigate how often fire chiefs decide buildings are not worth saving, you seem to be arguing from incredulity here

you seem to be be claiming that the NYC is familiar with the work of fire protection engineers, but doesn't use their services when assessing the safety of burning buildings, is that correct?

btw, I anticipated that truther pivot in #78. you're predictable, @Thomas B.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
Was NIST tasked with reviewing the Emergency Command decisions? Yes
Thanks for this. I googled it and it looks like section 5.9 of NIST 1-8 v. 1, pp. 108ff. is the source I'm looking for. Cheers.
firefighters indicated that several blocks needed to be cleared around WTC 7 because they thought that the building was going to collapse. (p. 110)
At approximately. 2:30 p.m., FDNY officers decided to completely abandon WTC 7, and the final order was given to evacuate the site around the building. The order terminated the ongoing rescue operations at WTC 6 and on the rubble pile of WTC 1. Firefighters and other emergency responders were withdrawn from the WTC 7 area, and the building continued to bum. At approximately 5:20 p.m.. some three hours after WTC 7 was abandoned the building experienced a catastrophic failure and collapsed. (p. 111)
https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/Legacy/NCSTAR/ncstar1-8v1.pdf
 

Thomas B

Active Member
source this, please
Thanks to @econ41, I think this is best source for what the firefighters' sense of the situation was:
The chiefs discussed the situation and the following conditions were identified,
• The building had sustained damage from debris falling into the building, and they were not sure about the structural stability of the building
• The building had large fires burning on at least six floors. Any one of these six fires would have been considered a large incident during normal FDNY operation
• There was no water immediately available for fighting the fire
• They didn't have equipment, hose, standpipe kits, tools, and enough handle talkies for conducting operations inside the building.

At approximately. 2:30 p.m., FDNY officers decided to completely abandon WTC 7, and the final order was given to evacuate the site around the building. (p. 111)
https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/Legacy/NCSTAR/ncstar1-8v1.pdf

I take the idea that putting out the fires would have saved the building as a logical implication of the idea that the fires caused the collapses. I take your point that this was not seen as a viable option at the time. And this decision seems to have been made fully conscious of possible consequences.

I also learned this, which is good to know:
The order terminated the ongoing rescue operations at WTC 6 and on the rubble pile of WTC 1. (ibid.)
That is, knowing that the collapse of WTC would pose a danger to rescue crews, they were also told to stop their work until the danger passed. I was wrong to imagine that the decision was priotizing resources for rescue operations and suppression of fightable fires. I'll think some more about this. Thanks again for your input.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
I take the idea that putting out the fires would have saved the building
the building had suffered structural damage from falling debris, extensive fire damage, water damage from the upper floor sprinklers, and pervasive smoke damage. I would not be surprised if it was deemed a write-off at that point—unsaveable, to be torn down even if it hadn't collapsed.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
if you know a way to fight a building fire without water, PLEASE let someone know immediately, firefighters have been looking for a "creative solution" like that for centuries!mm
Just to follow up on this. I was thinking in part of creative solutions to the problem of getting water to the fires. See NCSTART 1-8, p. 110:
A FDNY fire boat and the retired FDNY fire boat "Harvey" were located at the shore on the Hudson River near the site. They were starting to stretch lines up to the WTC.
https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/Legacy/NCSTAR/ncstar1-8v1.pdf

But I was also thinking of of all the other means firefighters use. See Wikipedia:
Using water is one common method to extinguish a fire. ... This can also be done with foam.

Another way to extinguish a fire is fuel removal. This can be accomplished by stopping the flow of liquid or gaseous fuel, by removing solid fuel in the path of a fire, or by allowing the fire to burn until all the fuel is consumed, at which point the fire will self-extinguish.

One final extinguishing method is chemical flame inhibition. This can be accomplished by applying dry chemical or halogenated agents that interrupt the chemical chain reaction and stop flaming. This method is effective on gas and liquid fuel because they must have flame to burn.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firefighting#Science_of_extinguishment

I'm sure you need a little water in any case. But, if putting out the fires had been seen as a much more urgent task, it does seem like there were other means than water to consider. Naturally, these means may well have been considered and rejected. But firefighters do in fact already know of the "creative solutions" I had in mind.
 

Jeffrey Orling

Senior Member
Just to follow up on this. I was thinking in part of creative solutions to the problem of getting water to the fires. See NCSTART 1-8, p. 110:

https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/Legacy/NCSTAR/ncstar1-8v1.pdf

But I was also thinking of of all the other means firefighters use. See Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firefighting#Science_of_extinguishment

I'm sure you need a little water in any case. But, if putting out the fires had been seen as a much more urgent task, it does seem like there were other means than water to consider. Naturally, these means may well have been considered and rejected. But firefighters do in fact already know of the "creative solutions" I had in mind.
Who knows if they could have used Hudson River water to replenish the sprinkler system???
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
But firefighters do in fact already know of the "creative solutions" I had in mind.
And the fire chief made his decision considering them and their effectiveness.
Which means your call for "urgency" falls flat yet again.
Your quote shows the fire chief had the area evacuated 3 hours before the building collapsed; I fail to see what additional "urgency" could have achieved here.

(Fuel removal is appropriate for wildfires, and removing particularly flammable/explosive materials such as cars or gas tanks if they can't be otherwise protected; flame inhibition works in closed locations where water damage must be avoided, e.g. data centers, as an alternative to sprinklers in the early phase of a fire.)
 
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