I went into the kitchen to make sure there was nobody there when I heard the rumble of Tower 1 coming down. I don't know the time that it happened. I just heard the same rumble I heard when Tower 2 came down, the same thing, and I took cover in our kitchen.
And 7 World Trade was burning up at the time. We could see it. 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. The fire at 7 World Trade was working its way from the front of the building northbound to the back of the building. There was no way there could be water put on it, because there was no water in the area. 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. We also reminded him about the telephone company, about the equipment that was in there.
We did see a flash, which we didn't know was the second -- at that time, we didn't know if that was the second plane hitting. We were probably on about 23rd Street, crossing
I went and walked underneath the pedestrian bridge -- I guess that would be the north pedestrian bridge -- and made my way down to the corner of Liberty, and the corner of Liberty and West Street, and then that's where I heard -- as I was looking up, I was observing people drop from the windows, civilians, and then I heard a noise. I looked up from the corner where I was and saw the building, the ^ inaudible tower, I guess it was the Tower 2 collapsing, the south tower collapsing.
As I walked – ran through another 5 or 10 feet, dove on the ground, and hit a -- what was a garden wall inside the middle of the lobby, and then the -- then everything just came right through. The dust and the explosion knocked the windows out, and so I was momentarily on the ground.
LIEUTENANT JOHN CITARELLA
The chief told us, "All right, make your way to the 90th floor in the south tower." I remember Steve started walking right away. I remember I put my arm around Freddie and I said, "Did he say the 90th floor?" Freddie looked at me and said, "Hold on a second." Right as he said that, I heard a loud roar, "boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom," and it was getting louder. I looked around, and we were looking at each other. What is that noise? I just looked out the window of the lobby. I could see stuff out of the window of the lobby hitting the street, and I just dove into the corner of the wall. I got down and put my head down, and nothing was happening. I just heard that noise getting louder and louder. All of a sudden "whoom," everything just went black. You could feel the air rush around.
I turned, I took maybe a couple more steps, and then I heard another explosion, it sounded like. I looked up, and the north tower was starting to come down. So me and Steve started running. I saw the north bridge, and I said I've got to at least make it past the north bridge. I started running, and I just made it past the north bridge and I got a little bit past that and I felt like someone just hit me from behind.
FIREFIGHTER ROBERT BYRNE
I remember later on we went up to – I don't know if it was still on the 35th floor and that's when we all dove into the staircase because basically the whole tower shook and we heard the noise of something going on. We didn't know what it was. What it was was the south tower collapsing. We didn't know.
EMT FRANK PUMA
After we heard the first plane hit and felt the ground shake, I ran down to the corner of Church and
I remember the F-16s and the F-18s flying overhead before the first tower collapsed that we all jumped on the floor because we didn't know what it was. We looked up and saw it was our guys, and we were like, okay, we can stand up now and take control of this.
EMT CHARLES GSCHLECHT
Well, the day started out as usual, you know, sign for the equipment, putting it on the truck, logging on, and going on to our CSL. Traveling up
So then I heard – I guess – I’m not too sure. I know I heard a rumble and I figured it was the building coming down.
PARAMEDIC ALBERT SINGER
We proceeded out the American Express building and we proceeded to the building directly behind, which was 4 Financial Center, which is the Merrill Lynch building. We remained in that for about 5 minutes before we were told to evacuate because there was a chance that the gas lines had been ruptured and the building was in danger of exploding.
FIREFIGHTER ARTHUR RICCIO
We went back down to 21, forced the door, we go in and searched all the occupancies. Nobody was in there. It was a little hazy. The bathrooms were charred. I had to use my mask to look in the stalls and make sure no one was in there. I came out. It was like a horseshoe. The last office, I was in there with Lieutenant Meara to and this kid Mike, a proby. All of a sudden we felt wind hitting us in the face. We thought fire was coming in. Every door we went through , we broke the locks so it wouldn't lock behind us. As we go through a door, we would hold the door closed. We would lay on the floor with our feet on the door, holding it. I think 55 Engine was hooked up, and they asked, "Where's the fire? Where's the fire?" No fire. Paulie Howard was saying the whole building shook. I was laying on the floor saying, "Come on, this building -- it's got to shake. Everybody was swaying." He said, "No, this building's going down." I said to him, "There was a bomb in the basement. It's not going to go down." Every window was broken. There was smoke coming down the hall, and I was just in that office. I said, "You know what, I'll go back in there. I know the layout." I go back in, and the proby came with me. We went on the whole outside. Every window was broken. All the blinds were burnt. It was smoky. So we came back out. 55 Engine said, "You need a line?" I said, "There's no fire in there. I don't know what it is. I don't know what happened." We didn't know the building went down next to us.
FIREFIGHTER LANCE LIZZUL
We were standing by the command center, watching what was going on. Some of these jumpers, I didn't look. After a while just standing there, waiting to see what was going on, we heard some bangs. That made us look up, and that's when the first
I walked down the block a little bit. He kept going. I stopped and was just staring at the building. I heard the rumbling of the second one, and it just came down and I just started running again.
LIEUTENANT RICHARD SKELLINGTON
It was about
FIREFIGHTER WILLIAM CHESNEY
The first tower had already fallen, so everything was very unclear due to visibility, bad visibility, because of smoke and ash. We visually saw the beginning of the first tower crumble, so the engine turned off on