The Search for Ladder 6

Issue 9 and Volume 155.

By John J. Salka Jr. West Street was not a street anymore: It was a debris field that resembled a metal scrap yard in some areas and a mat of steel beams in others. Every once in a while, you would see an FDNY apparatus protruding from the debris. Civilians and firefighters were trapped in vehicles and under rubble out in the street. There were extreme fire conditions. The heat was unbearable. We saw distorted steel; outside bearing walls were separating and falling. Some of the gigantic debris piles around the outside of the buildings were smoking; secondary fires were common. What didn’t collapse burned. Fires were visible on the upper floors of several of the buildings surrounding the WTC site. The adjacent 4, 5, and 6 WTC buildings had floors of fire. The 7 WTC building collapsed later that day. Area water mains were broken. Little could be done…

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