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

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The Official Account

NIST originally suggested [1] 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
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.

NIST NCSTAR 1A, Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7, November 2008, 49 (pdf: 91). 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.”
See a discussion of other skyscraper fires, and see videos here, here, and here.


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