Hayden: Yeah, we had to pull everybody back. It was very difficult. We had to be very forceful in
getting the guys out. They didn’t want to come out. There were guys going into areas that I wasn’t
even really comfortable with, because of the possibility of secondary collapses. We didn’t know
how stable any of this area was. We pulled everybody back probably by 3 or 3:30 in the afternoon.
We said, this building is going to come down, get back. It came down about 5 o’clock or so, but
we had everybody backed away by then. –Deputy Chief Peter Hayden /zwtrs
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.
Q. It was on fire, correct, Captain?
A. Yes, it was on fire at that time. Then they said it suffered some form of structural damage. These
things were going on at the same time. The fact that we thought we found Ganci and Feehan and
his place at 7 World Trade Center. 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. –Captain Ray Goldbach
So we go there and on the north and east side of 7 it didn’t look like there was any damage at all,
but then you looked on the south side of 7 there had to be a hole 20 stories tall in the building,
with fire on several floors. Debris was falling down on the building and it didn’t look good. But
they had a hose line operating. Like I said, it was hitting the sidewalk across the street, but eventually
they pulled back too. – Capt. Chris Boyle /e7bzp
Someone gave a Mayday. I guess it was someone trapped under one of the pedestrian bridges. We
started to go under there to look. One of the Chiefs pulled us out of there. He said don't go under
there. ..We searched that building and then we started making another move in and we got pulled
out again, because I guess the Chiefs were getting more in control of the situation. They pulled
everybody out of there. ...that was probably like four or five o'clock before we stopped. –
Firefighter Todd Fredrickson
When the third building came down that's where we were (Stuyvesant High School). We were actually
-- they pulled us all back. Actually they pulled us all the way back that far at the point because
they didn't want any -- they didn't want us anywhere near it. Everyone was just running
around. 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 that time, almost 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 waited until it went down, because it was unsafe. They
wouldn't let anyone next to I guess the two piles, we would call them, where one and two was.
We stood back. We waited. –EMT Joseph Fortis
After that they decided to pull everybody out and I know -- what building was it? Building 5, I believe
[sic], the other tall building there, the third building that came down, they were evacuating people. So everyone just pushed up West Street all the
way up towards the high school there. I forget
the name of the high school. –Firefighter Brian Russo
Then approximately I guess maybe two hours before number 7 came down, we went into Ground
Zero and helped dig around and was there when they located Chief Feehan and one of the chiefs
pulled us all out because they said 7 was going to come down. –Firefighter Kevin Quinn
So then they aborted us from setting up the tower ladder because they were worried about now
Seven coming down. So then they pulled us away. This is where I kind of start remembering a lot.
We came around, I think we took Murray Street down the west side, and we stopped the rig and
pulled over to the side and we all got out of the rig. We were standing, waiting for Seven to come
down. We were there for quite a while, a couple hours.
During that time a couple of the members felt like we were being useless just standing around. We
wanted to do something. So we started trying to walk down, trying to get into the pile. We kept on
being turned around from chiefs, because they didn't want us near Seven.
As we were walking, we had to actually get a little closer to Seven. So we turned and looked at
Seven, and that's when all the marble siding started popping off the side because it was starting to
We worked our way putting out the car fires, which I don't know if there was ammunition, because
there was a lot of cop cars, but there was explosions. Tires were exploding. There had to be
about 15 or 20 car fires. We put them out as we worked our way down. –Firefighter Thomas Donato
They told us to get out of there because they were worried about 7 World Trade Center, which is
right behind it, coming down. We were up on the upper floors of the Verizon building looking at
it. You could just see the whole bottom corner of the building was gone. We could look right out
over to where the Trade Centers were because we were that high up. Looking over the smaller
buildings. I just remember it was tremendous, tremendous fires going on.
Finally they pulled us out. They said all right, get out of that building because that 7, they were
really worried about. They pulled us out of there and then they regrouped everybody on Vesey
Street, between the water and West Street. They put everybody back in there.
Finally it did come down. From there -- this is much later on in the day, because every day we
were so worried about that building we didn't really want to get people close. They were trying to
limit the amount of people that were in there. Finally it did come down. That's when they let the
guys go on. I just remember we started searching around all the rigs. –Firefighter Richard Banaciski
Then we were instructed to search through two or three buildings to make sure they were stable,
and then they pulled everybody out because of the pink building. Was it 7 World Trade, that was