Point WTC7-1: The Claim that WTC 7 Collapsed from Fire Alone

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The Official Account

NIST originally suggested1 that WTC 7 was brought down by structural damage combined with a raging fire fed by diesel fuel. However, in its Final Report (of November 2008)2, NIST declared that neither diesel fuel nor structural damage played a role in this building’s collapse, and that this building, which was not struck by a plane, was brought down by fire alone.

The Best Evidence

Before or after 9/11, no steel-frame high-rise building had ever collapsed due to fire.3 If fire were to cause such a building to collapse, the onset would be gradual, whereas the videos show that WTC 7, after being completely stable, suddenly came down in virtual free fall. This building’s straight-down, symmetrical collapse, with the roofline remaining essentially horizontal, shows that all 82 of WTC 7’s support columns had been eliminated by the time the top started down.

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References for Point WTC7-1

  1. FEMA, World Trade Center Building Performance Study, Ch. 5, Sect. 6.2, “Probable Collapse Sequence.”

    Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up to the Facts: An In-Depth Investigation by Popular Mechanics, ed. David Dunbar and Brad Reagan (New York: Hearst Books, 2006), 53-58. This semi-official book contained quotations from NIST showing what it was thinking at the time.

  2. NIST NCSTAR 1A, Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 (brief report), November 2008, xxxv. In NIST’s words, the collapse of WTC 7 was “the first known instance of the total collapse of a tall building primarily due to fires.

  3. See a discussion of other skyscraper fires, and see videos here, here, and here.

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