Was Column 79 the Achilles' Heel of WTC7?

Thomas B

Active Member
No. Utterly, criminally, inhumanly FALSE. Stop concocting such blatant nonsense!
Maybe you could just start reading my concoctions with a little charity.

See my reply above (#117) and this remark:
They (reasonably) believed they had more important things to worry about. And that one of these things was making sure that if the building does collapse (because of the structural damage it had already sustained) the area was cleared.

It's easy to make nonsense of an individual sentence taken in isolation. It takes some effort to construe it as criminal and inhuman. I really am saddened that I've lost your good will. If you're not actually going to read what I say, I can't fix it.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
There was ZERO priority to save that building when elsewhere there were HUMANS TO BE RESCUED.
As I've pointed out a few times, abandoning WTC7 also meant stopping rescue operations at WTC1 and WTC6. (That's something I learned these last few days.)
 

Miss VocalCord

Senior Member.
So, yes, they did have the means to get water to the site. The question is whether they had the time to do it before the building collapsed.
Water never was an issue with WTC7:
By this time, a FDNY fire boat and the retired FDNY fire boat “Harvey” were operating at the shoreline on the Hudson River near the site, and they were stretching hoselines up to the WTC site. However, according to the FDNY first-person interviews, water was never an issue at WTC 7, since fire fighting was never started in the building.
Page 300 (344)
Other circumstances already made them decide to stop putting effort in WTC7.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
There was a conscious, informed, intelligent and highly credentialed decision to NOT EVER attempt to put out those fires. ALL resources were prudently pulled, the building was explicitly left to its own devices, to either burn out or collapse before burning out.
What part of this conflicts with my claim that there was no urgency about fighting the fires? (It's like we using that word to mean two completely different things.)
 

Thomas B

Active Member
These people are FIREfighters - you tell they don't know what firefighting is for???? Really?!?!?!?!?
I'm not sure what else I can tell you other than that NIST says that before 9/11 firefighters didn't expect fires in skyscrapers to cause total progressive collapse.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
Other circumstances already made them decide to stop putting effort in WTC7.
I noticed that sentence too. It seems in line with my point that they weren't thinking of the fires as the issue and never started fighting them. They abandoned the building out of structural concerns before they even started trying to fight the fires. This was a perfectly reasonable decision to make given the knowledge they had at the time. I'm curious to know how procedures have changed since then, however.
 

Miss VocalCord

Senior Member.
I noticed that sentence too. It seems in line with my point that they weren't thinking of the fires as the issue and never started fighting them. They abandoned the building out of structural concerns before they even started trying to fight the fires. This was a perfectly reasonable decision to make given the knowledge they had at the time. I'm curious to know how procedures have changed since then, however.
To me it seems it was the combination of factors:
- Structural damage
- Ongoing fires
- "Loud noises"

It wasn't about what could be causing the collapse; it was simply unsafe to enter the building and do anything about it.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
It wasn't about what could be causing the collapse; it was simply unsafe to enter the building and do anything about it.
I think that's a plausible take. But some of them did in fact think the building was in danger of collapsing and they must have had some reason to think so.

I think you're right (if that's what you mean) that the fires are mentioned in this part of the the NIST report as one of several reasons not to enter the building, not as a reason the building might collapse, which of course wasn't the only danger involved.
 
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Henkka

Member
Any assumption that WTC 7 would collapse from fires is incredibly strange to me, considering it had never happened before and buildings like One Meridian Plaza endured massive fires for much longer without even a partial collapse.

So if there was an assumption that WTC 7 was going to collapse from natural causes, it would've had to have been based on the structural damage. Which is interesting to think about, since the building then did collapse from fires. So if someone predicted that WTC 7 would collapse from structural damage, they would have made a correct prediction, but for the wrong reasons.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
before they even started trying to fight the fires.
they tried to put out some


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.

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. At that time, some of my

members went with another officer, I don't remember who

it was, to try and search the collapse of -- I guess

the number one tower on Vesey Street.
Content from External Source
https://web.archive.org/web/2007120...pdf/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/9110313.PDF



I'm curious to know how procedures have changed since then, however.
procedures of what to do if half your cities trucks and crews are wiped out or busy dealing with other areas of the city, and you are under a terrorist attack? i imagine "search and rescue" being a priority hasn't changed much.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
procedures of what to do if half your cities trucks and crews are wiped out or busy dealing with other areas of the city, and you are under a terrorist attack?
No, I'm interested in whether they think differently about ordinary fires in skyscrapers. Whether total collapse is more at the forefront of their concerns.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
It seems in line with my point that they weren't thinking of the fires as the issue and never started fighting them.
#$%%&$#@$%!!!!

Why do you think all these chiefs entered the building if they didn't want to fight the fires?
You have seen the reasons why they didn't and "fires not an issue" was not among them.

You have ZERO evidence for that claim, and that claim is an insult to the FDNY and should not be made with ZERO evidence.

SmartSelect_20220519-084210_Samsung Notes.jpg
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
So if there was an assumption that WTC 7 was going to collapse from natural causes, it would've had to have been based on the structural damage. Which is interesting to think about, since the building then did collapse from fires. So if someone predicted that WTC 7 would collapse from structural damage, they would have made a correct prediction, but for the wrong reasons.
Buildings always collapse from structural damage. This damage can be caused by trauma (e.g. truck bomb) or fire, or both.

This structural collapse usually has harbingers, i.e. parts falling off, groans and noises as loads shift, bulging, cracking, etc., and these signs were observed by the FDNY in WTC7 and made them consider it unsafe.

When you notice these signs, you stop assuming and get out.
When the deck tilts on the Titanic, it's time to stop assuming the ship's unsinkable and look at reality.
 

Miss VocalCord

Senior Member.
No, I'm interested in whether they think differently about ordinary fires in skyscrapers. Whether total collapse is more at the forefront of their concerns.
I guess the best place to look is at the recommendations in the Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Building and especially the 5.2.5 Group 6. Improved Emergency Response starting on page 70 (112 pdf).

Most of it is about the command structure, information and training; however regarding the response you can also read this:
Key decisions (e.g., decisions not to fight the fires in WTC 7 and to turn off the power to the Con Edison
substation) were reasonable and would not have changed the outcome on September 11, 2001, but
were not made promptly. Under different circumstances (e.g., if WTC 7 had collapsed sooner and
fire fighters were still evaluating the building condition), the outcome could have been very different.
 
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Thomas B

Active Member
And saying "NIST missed this" when you're quoting the NIST report is infuriating.
I was just noting the tension between what Deirdre quoted (saying someone had fought some fires) and NIST saying that fire fighting had never begun. I don't think it's very important.

Please don't let me get you mad. We're in so much agreement that there's no longer anything to get worked up about. At least from my perspective.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
We're in so much agreement that there's no longer anything to get worked up about.
we ard NOT in agreement, exemplified by you trotting out all of your old unfounded speculation YET AGAIN

you just said again that they didn't fight the fire because they didn't think it was an issue (speculation!) instead of referencing the real reasons for the decision that you agreed to

your agreement obviously means nothing
you pretend you learned nothing while saying you made progress
and you've done another 180⁰
 

Thomas B

Active Member
We attempted to put some of the fire out, but we had a pressure problem.
Content from External Source
this means no / not enough water

Would you agree that NIST "missed" (or forgoet) that line when they wrote this one:

according to the FDNY first-person interviews, water was never an issue at WTC 7, since fire fighting was never started in the building.

Again, it's not very important, since we agree that they gave up due to lack of water. I don't think we need to argue about it. I'm just explaining my reaction to Deirdre's point. I may have been too quick to make anything out of it at all.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
This was a perfectly reasonable decision to make given the knowledge they had at the time.
you already stated it was a perfectly reasonable decision given the knowledge we have now
If they had known that WTC7 had an Achilles Column (let's call it that) but didn't know which one, they might have stayed away from it altogether (especially since the structure was so damaged already).
 

Miss VocalCord

Senior Member.
I'm more interested in the uptake of those recommendations and what's going on today.
I think you can easily find enough information with a bit of googling; some articles I found quickly:
https://www.wcax.com/2021/09/11/how-911-changed-fire-service-us/
https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-borough...-9-11-changed-the-police-and-fire-departments
https://www.firerescue1.com/communi...-with-the-newest-generation-zj3MYe0gCQ8vPOGK/
etc.
Much about communication, command lines and training.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Would you agree that NIST "missed" (or forgoet) that line when they wrote this one:

Again, it's not very important, since we agree that they gave up due to lack of water. I don't think we need to argue about it. I'm just explaining my reaction to Deirdre's point. I may have been too quick to make anything out of it at all.
NO.

If you lay a fire hose to the fire, but never put a drop of water on the fire, would you say you have started fighting the fire?

I'd say you have done preparations.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
you just said again that they didn't fight the fire because they didn't think it was an issue (speculation!)
It seems to me that we agree on pretty all the factual questions, except whether they saw the fires as a possible cause of the collapse of the building. You say my position is "speculation" and, while I grant that I don't have direct documentation for what they were thinking, I think my view is a reasonable "deduction" from what NIST says about the history of skyscraper fires and the state of the science.

But if you have some good sources (other than the NIST reports, which I think we've worked over enough now) that say otherwise, I'm happy to take some time to read them.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
I haven't looked closely at what happened later, but it's my sense that they did eventually get water to the site. (Wasn't water poured on it for weeks and weeks later?) It eventually extinguished all the fires.

So, yes, they did have the means to get water to the site. The question is whether they had the time to do it before the building collapsed. Since they didn't know it would collapse at exactly 5:20 PM (only conspiracy theorists believe they had this foreknowledge) the question reduces to their sense of urgency about extinguishing the fires. As I keep saying, they didn't feel it was urgent because they didn't know that putting out the fires would be the key to preventing the collapse.
To extinguish a fire, you need to bring a certain amount of water (measured in gallons/minute) to bear on the fire; remember there were 6 large fires. Trying to control 6 blazes up a building inside hours is not comparable to dribbling water on a pile of rubble for weeks in terms of equipment and manpower.

You have ZERO evidence that this feat could have been accomplished.
 

Henkka

Member
Buildings always collapse from structural damage. This damage can be caused by trauma (e.g. truck bomb) or fire, or both.

This structural collapse usually has harbingers, i.e. parts falling off, groans and noises as loads shift, bulging, cracking, etc., and these signs were observed by the FDNY in WTC7 and made them consider it unsafe.

When you notice these signs, you stop assuming and get out.
When the deck tilts on the Titanic, it's time to stop assuming the ship's unsinkable and look at reality.

Yeah, when I say "structural damage", I specifically mean the damage caused to the southern face by falling debris from WTC 1. Technically all damage caused by the office fires was also "structural damage" of course, but that's not what I meant. Maybe we could call that "fire damage" for clarity. So I still find it odd that anyone would think WTC 7 could possibly collapse from fire damage, given previous examples like One Meridian Plaza. Although there are also examples of buildings sustaining massive structural damage and not collapsing on their own, like the Oklahoma bombing.

Also, the text you posted seems to say that they were hearing creaking noises and the sound of fires burning, but the decision to evacuate was not made until they heard a "loud noise". What was the loud noise?
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Most of it is about the command structure, information and training; however regarding the response you can also read this:
oh good. i was thinking it was stupid for them to even be in there after everyone was evacuated too. nice to see it in official writing :)
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
we agree on pretty all the factual questions
NO, we do not.

1) The FDNY had the means to extinguish the fires in WTC7 and thereby prevent its subsequent collapse, but chose not to do so.

2) If the FDNY had known that [the fire was an issue], it would have chosen to extinguish the fires in WTC7.
We do not agree on either of these, and they're your core claims.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
So I still find it odd that anyone would think WTC 7 could possibly collapse from fire damage, given previous examples like One Meridian Plaza.
Titanic. Deck tilting.

the text you posted seems to say that they were hearing creaking noises and the sound of fires burning, but the decision to evacuate was not made until they heard a "loud noise".
that decision only pertained to that inspection group, that wasn't the command decision.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
NO, we do not.


We do not agree on either of these, and they're your core claims.
1) The FDNY had the means to extinguish the fires in WTC7 and thereby prevent its subsequent collapse, but chose not to do so.

2) If the FDNY had known that [the fire was an issue], it would have chosen to extinguish the fires in WTC7.

I've already explained that (1) doesn't state my view. In my view, they had neither the immediate means nor the knowledge needed to prevent the collapse. They chose not to fight the fires because they were worried the building would collapse, and believed there was nothing that could be done about this, and they then prioritized clearing the area.

And (2) isn't a statement of fact. It's plainly a counterfactual. And it's the issue we're debating. It's "speculation" either way. Or, as I would prefer to think of it, it's a matter to be reasoned about and discussed.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
, I think my view is a reasonable "deduction" from what NIST says about the history of skyscraper fires and the state of the science.
You think that, but it's not; it's speculation at odds with facts I have quoted.

If they had thought the building couldn't collapse, they wouldn't have seemed it structurally unsafe. "can collapse" and "structurally unsafe" says the same thing, with some hair-splitting about how much of a collapse we're talking about.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
I've already explained that (1) doesn't state my view. In my
dude, I can just quote you
So, yes, they did have the means to get water to the site. The question is whether they had the time to do it before the building collapsed. Since they didn't know it would collapse at exactly 5:20 PM (only conspiracy theorists believe they had this foreknowledge) the question reduces to their sense of urgency about extinguishing the fires. As I keep saying, they didn't feel it was urgent because they didn't know that putting out the fires would be the key to preventing the collapse.
You are saying they had everything but "urgency".
 

econ41

Senior Member
Any assumption that WTC 7 would collapse from fires is incredibly strange to me, considering it had never happened before and buildings like One Meridian Plaza endured massive fires for much longer without even a partial collapse.
It looks like you are new to rational discussion of the WTC 9/11 collapses. The comments you make are established truther cant and mendaciously dishonest. The "has never happened before" is not true - it is a lie by partial truth innuendo. Remember that WTC7 was - like WTC1 and WTC2 - a steel-framed structure. More vulnerable to fire than concrete structures,

Please read this thread - I have several times outlined the key facts relevant to the OP claim of "Achilles' Heel" and @Thomas B has systematically ignored the substance of my explanations. Other members have responded within the limitations of facts contained in the NIST reports.
 

Thomas B

Active Member
dude, I can just quote you

You are saying they had everything but "urgency".
You don't seem to register the word "immediate". Perhaps we perceive time so differently that you don't see the connection between "urgency" and "immediacy" as I do? I'm not sure what's happening here. But it's interesting. So thanks for that.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
So I still find it odd that anyone would think WTC 7 could possibly collapse from fire damage, given previous examples like One Meridian Plaza.
you should be a fire fighter then. and you can stay in the buildings after everyone tells you its not safe because you know it will never collapse. you'd be like the Superman of firefighters.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
And (2) isn't a statement of fact. It's plainly a counterfactual. And it's the issue we're debating. It's "speculation either way".
So you are not commenting on your own double 180⁰.

The actual reasons are not speculation.
they weren't thinking of the fires as the issue and never started fighting them.
This is not a "counterfactual", it's a claim with ZERO evidence supporting it.
 
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