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Reply #36: Brian Becker, FDNY blast in lobby of WTC1- away from WTC2 [View All]

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philb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-15-05 02:09 PM
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36. Brian Becker, FDNY blast in lobby of WTC1- away from WTC2
Brian Becker, FDNY Engine 28, Group 22.

I had relieved the lieutenant from the night tour at the station. He had left -- I was in the kitchen with the o t h e r firemen. I was standing up w i t h a cup of c o f f e e , and I heard a l o u d e x p l o s i o n . I put down my c o f f e e , and I s a i d t o t h e guys, "I think we're going t o work. That was an explosion." we heard t h e voice alarm came over and s a i d t h e r e was an explosion i n t h e World Trade Center. The engine was dispatched on t h e box. The time was 8:48.

We saw a l o t of d e b r i s i n t h e s t r e e t as we came up, and I was concerned. I could see what seemed t o be remains of bodies i n t h e s t r e e t . Our chauffer ended up hooking up on Barclay and West Broadway. That's just north of 7 World Trade Center, which it all interconnected, we think.

So we moved into 1 World Trade Center from h a t northern p e d e s t r i a n overpass, from underneath t h a t , so we took t h e s h o r t e s t r o u t e , and I think we j u s t went i n a window. I think t h e g l a s s was blown out t h e r e . I have an impression of smoke around t h e e l e v a t o r s , and bent doors, and it was p r e t t y -- t h e lobby was p r e t t y d e v a s t a t e d .

I ' d say we were i n t h e 30th or 31st, 32nd Floor, or something l i k e t h a t , and a few of t h e guys were l y i n g wiped out on t h e f l o o r , you know, t a k i n g a break with t h e i r masks off and l y i n g i n t h e hallway when t h e r e was a v e r y l o u d roaring sound and a v e r y l o u d explosion, and t h e -- it f e l t l i k e t h e r e was an explosion above us, and I had a momentary concern t h a t our b u i l d i n g was c o l l a p s i n g .

The Chief said "Everybody, we are -- all Fire Department personnel are out of the building. We are getting out. Q. Did you have an idea what time you guys
s t a r t e d t o descend down? A. I would say it was l i k e one minute a f t e r t h e f i r s t b u i l d i n g collapsed, t h e f i r s t c o l l a p s e of t h e o t h e r b u i l d i n g . Q. So f i v e a f t e r t e n then? A. Yes.

When we got t o t h e lobby, t h e r e was t o t a l d e v a s t a t i o n t h e n . When we went i n , it was b l a s t e d a p a r t , and t h e r e was broken g l a s s everywhere. A l l t h e windows were out, we were in the northwest corner of the building, so we were diagonally separated a hundred percent from the first collapsed building. We were on the opposite corner -- we were the most sheltered part.

We saw an arrest being made of some Arab-looking type guy. I think he had a blue uniform type World Trade Center type maintenance type person. It was my impression. It didn't seem important to me. It seemed
like he was being arrested by a Port Authority type policeman. That's my impression. I remember them putting cuffs on him.

The collapse hadn't begun, but it was not a fire any more up there. It was like -- it was like that -- like smoke explosion on a tremendous scale going on up there. A f t e r t h e -- a f t e r t h e c o l l a p s e , we were about 50 t o a hundred yards north of t h e p e d e s t r i a n walkway, and t h e c o l l a p s e was occurring, and then t h e black cloud j u s t came roaring a t us. All the rubble was on West Street, so we would have had to go all the way around by the river to get around to the other side,

We were in World Trade Center 1. It was a tremendous explosion and tremendous shaking of our building. We thought it was our building maybe collapsed, there was a collapse above us occurring. That was our
experience when the other building collapsed.
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