BY JOSEPH PFEIFEROn the morning of Septem- ber 11, I responded to a call for an odor of gas in the street at West Bernard and Church streets, about 12 blocks from the incident. A plane flew overhead—that was very unusual for Manhattan—and passed to our west toward the World Trade Center, aimed straight for it. A large fireball erupted; a couple of seconds later we heard the explosion.I assembled my four companies and radioed for a second-alarm assignment to the North Tower of the Trade Center. A minute later, on my way there, I called for a third alarm, informing Communications that this was a direct hit on the North Tower. I requested that second-alarm units come to the build...

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