Point TT-9: The Claim of Widespread Infernos in the South Tower vs the
Point TT-9: FDNY Radio Transcript

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Background

The importance of this Consensus Point is that a Fire Department of New York radio report unmistakably refutes the claim that there were widespread fires in World Trade Center 2 (the South Tower) the morning of 9/11.

The official story claiming the vast extent of fires in the South Tower (as cited below) has been told without taking into account radio reports from firefighters ascending the building, which had been struck at approximately 9:03 AM.

An examination of the transcript of a 78-minute radio recording, which was found in World Trade Center 5 and publicly reported in November 2002, shows that firefighters in the South Tower could be heard speaking over their radios while ascending to and arriving at the 78th floor using various stairways, until the building collapsed at 9:59 AM.

This transcript undermines the official claims that the floors in the vicinity of the airplane strike [1] were all “infernos,” and that the fires were of such a nature as to initiate the collapse of the building.

The Official Account
  1. The 9/11 Commission Report (2004) stated that:

    “From approximately 9:21 on, the ascending battalion chief was unable to reach the South Tower lobby command post because the senior chief in the lobby had ceased to communicate on repeater channel 7.” [2]

  2. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) reported:

    “On Sept. 11, 2001, the jet-fuel ignited fires quickly spread over most of the 40,000 square feet on several floors in each tower. This created infernos that could not have been suppressed even by an undamaged sprinkler system.” [3]

The Best Evidence
These claims about the South Tower are negated by two types of evidence:

  1. Regarding the claim of a breakdown in fire communications:
    On August 4, 2002, the New York Times reported (20 months before the 9/11 Commission published its findings in 2004) that a 78-minute radio tape of FDNY firefighters ascending to the 78th floor of the South Tower had been found but not released to the public. [4]

    On November 2, 2002, a New York Times article by Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn, [5] which reported about the tape’s release, included a transcript containing the following segment:

    9:25 AM: Ladder 15 Irons: “Just got a report from the director of Morgan Stanley. Seventy-eight seems to have taken the brunt of this stuff, there’s a lot of bodies, they say the stairway is clear all the way up, though.”
    9:43 AM: Battalion Nine Chief: “What stairway you in Orio?”
    Battalion Seven Chief [Orio Palmer]: “The center of the building, boy, boy. [Stairwell B]”
    9:48 AM: Ladder 15: “What do you got up there, Chief?”
    Battalion Seven Chief: “I’m still in boy [B] stair 74th floor. No smoke or fire problems, walls are breached, so be careful.”
    9:52 AM: Battalion Seven Chief: “Battalion Seven … Ladder 15, we’ve got two isolated pockets of fire. We should be able to knock it down with two lines. Radio that, 78th floor numerous 10-45 Code Ones [Deceased].” [6]
    Ladder 15: “Chief, what stair you in?”
    Battalion Seven Chief: “South stairway Adam [Stairwell A], South Tower.”
    Ladder 15: “Floor 78?”
    Battalion Seven Chief: “Ten-four, numerous civilians, we gonna need two engines up here.”
    Ladder 15: “Alright ten-four, we’re on our way.”
    Battalion Seven Chief: “I’m going to need two [sic; actually: ‘three’ – editor’s note] of your firefighters Adam stairway to knock down two fires. We have a house line stretched we could use some water on it, knock it down, kay.”
    Ladder 15: “Alright ten-four, we’re coming up the stairs. We’re on 77 now in the B stair, I’ll be right to you.”
    Ladder 15 Roof: “Fifteen Roof to 15. We’re on 71. We’re coming right up.”
    9:57 AM: Battalion Seven Operations Tower One: “Battalion Seven Operations Tower One to Battalion Nine, need you on floor above 79. We have access stairs going up to 79, kay.”
    Battalion Nine: “Alright, I’m on my way up Orio.” [7]

    According to Dwyer and Flynn, this tape “flatly contradicts” the claim that the “devastating breakdown in fire communications at the World Trade Center was largely caused by the failure of an electronic device in the complex called a repeater, which was designed to boost radio transmissions in high rise buildings.” [8]

  2. Regarding the claim of the vast extent of fires in the South Tower:

    The radio transcript shows that:

    1. firefighters had reached South Tower floors 71, 77, 78, 79 (and possibly 80), high up in the building.
    2. at 9:52 AM, seven minutes before the South Tower collapsed rapidly and completely at 9:59 AM (The 9/11 Commission Report gives the collapse duration as 10 seconds [9]), Battalion Seven Chief Orio Palmer said from the south stairway:
      “Battalion Seven … Ladder 15, we’ve got two isolated pockets of fire. We should be able to knock it down with two lines. Radio that, 78th floor numerous 10-45 Code Ones.”
    3. the firefighters were able to climb to Floor 78 on at least three of the stairwells.
    4. As Dwyer and Flynn note, at 9:56 AM (three minutes before the sudden collapse), the firefighters finally encountered fire at the 78th floor in both stairwells A and B:
      “Ladder 15 had finally found the fire after an arduous climb to the 78th floor, according to the tape. They were in the B stairwell. On the other side of the fire were hundreds of people, blocked from fleeing by smoke and flame on the stairs. Chief Palmer was facing similar fires in the A stairwell, across the floor.” [10]
    5. The firefighters were calm and unafraid:
      • “The voices, captured on a tape of Fire Department radio transmissions, betray no fear. The words are matter-of-fact.
        … nowhere on the tape is there any indication that firefighters had the slightest indication that the tower had become unstable or that it could fall.
        ‘Chief, I’m going to stop on 44,’ Stephen Belson, an aide to Chief Palmer, tells him at 9:25 as he ascends.
        ‘Take your time, the chief responds.’” [11]
      • “Debbie Palmer, whose husband, Battalion Chief Orio Palmer, can be heard on the tape … said the recording gave her some peace about her husband’s last moments:
        ‘I didn’t hear fear, I didn’t hear panic,’ she told The Times. ‘When the tape is made public to the world, people will hear that they all went about their jobs without fear, and selflessly.’” [12]

Conclusion

There is incontrovertible evidence that the firefighter teams were communicating clearly with one another as they ascended WTC 2.

The fact that they went about their work calmly is not surprising, because in their professional experience a fire – even a fire caused by an airplane impact – had never resulted in the collapse of a steel-frame high-rise building, not even a single floor.

The incontrovertible evidence of firefighter teams operating calmly, methodically, and with confidence that they could easily defeat the fires in the South Tower refutes the official claim that floors in the vicinity of the airplane strike were all “infernos,” and that the building was unstable and about to collapse.

The evidence from the radio transcript supports Consensus Points TT-1 through TT-8 [13] in affirming that the Twin Towers did not come down from airplane impact and fires, as the official narrative alleges.

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References for Point TT-9
Floors 78-84 of the South Tower were impacted by Flight 175. (“2 World Trade Center,” 911research.wtc7.net)
The 9/11 Commission Report, 2004, p. 300 (pdf-p. 317).
NIST, Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (Last updated September 20, 2011). “Question No. 8: We know that the sprinkler systems were activated because survivors reported water in the stairwells. If the sprinklers were working, how could there be a ‘raging inferno’ in the WTC towers?”
Jim Dwyer and Ford Fessenden, “Lost Voices of Firefighters, Some on the 78th Floor,” New York Times, August 4, 2002.
Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn, “9/11 TAPE RAISES ADDED QUESTIONS ON RADIO FAILURES,” New York Times, November 2, 2002; NYT Interactive, “The Tale of the Tape.”
FDNY. A “10-45 Code One” means “Black tag (deceased).”
Excerpts From Firefighters’ WTC Tape on 9/11,” typed transcript, posted November 22, 2002. The radio recording can be heard online: “Let me know when you see fire.”
Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn, “9/11 TAPE RAISES ADDED QUESTIONS ON RADIO FAILURES,” New York Times, November 2, 2002.
The 9/11 Commission Report, 2004, p. 305.
Kevin Flynn and Jim Dwyer, “Fire Department Tape Reveals No Awareness of Imminent Doom,” New York Times, November 9, 2002.
Kevin Flynn and Jim Dwyer, “Fire Department Tape Reveals No Awareness of Imminent Doom,” New York Times, November 9, 2002.
Jaime Holguin, “Report: FDNY Reached WTC 78th Floor,” CBS News, August 4, 2002, 12:09 PM.
The 9/11 Consensus Panel, Consensus Points TT-1 to TT-8.

 

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