Articles, Blog

9/11 (2002) Documentary • (Re-Uploaded) • CC ON (NED/ENG/SPA/PT-BR)

On september 1 1 , 2001 , the fire fighter from engine 7, ladder 1 responded to the world trade center. This is their story, it is also the story
of how new york city’s bravest rose to their greatest challenging. What you are going to see is the only known footage
from inside tower 1 – an eyewitness account of one
of the most defining moments of our time. When you work in a firehouse seven blocks from the two tallest buildings
in New York… you get to know every step,
every staircase, every story. Morning, Jim. Couldn’t get too close
to that razor blade? l’m James Hanlon. l’ve been
a New York City firefighter for nine years
at Ladder One downtown. Last summer,
the summer before 9l11 there were days we’d
go to the Trade Center five times in a single shift. Uh, 10-4. We’re going to
also send you some help. My point is, we knew those
towers as well as anybody… but nobody… …nobody expected September 1 1 . l’ve got to get out. Go to the Trade Center. On that day guys from my firehouse,
my best friends were some of the first firefighters into Tower One after the plane hit. Those are jumpers. What they did that day,
what everyone there did was remarkable… Chief… …and almost as remarkable it was captured on videotape inside the tower beginning to end. The tape was shot
by two brothers– Jules and Gedeon Naudet. Holy shit! They’re documentary filmmakers and old friends of mine. l don’t know. They always say there is always
a witness for history. l guess… we’re… that day we
were chosen to be the witness. The strange thing is, the tape the whole story,
it kind of happened by accident. l mean,
Jules and Gedeon didn’t mean to make a documentary
about 9l1 1 . We wanted to make a documentary
about a… a firefighter. That’s how
the whole thing got started. …nine, ten… One, two, three… More to the point the plan was to follow a rookie. On the job we call them probies. The idea was to show how a kid almost…
become a man in nine months. Which is their probationary period where they have
to prove themselves. Let’s go, guys. Hurry up.
Get in the apartment. We teamed up,
and by June of 2001 the three of us were out at the Fire Academy,
shooting the training. Open up. Move in. Watch the ceiling. After a few weeks
of learning the basics a probie may think he knows what it takes
to be a real fireman. He’s in for a rude awakening. Can l have the lights, please? This is a probie. Became engulfed in fire. Another firefighter– no hood. Be prepared. Wear your gear. Go into a building you never know
what’s going to happen. The fire was starting to really
roll over my head now. The force of it knocked me down,
knocked my helmet off and my hands were gone. l take three steps into the apartment and the floor gave way and we all went and l’m trying to get my body
off the ground now because l’m laying in boiling water. My right leg was paralyzed
for six months. This job is no joke. When you get out there,
it’s the real world. Don’t be no hot dog,
showoff jerk. Pay attention to the senior men
and do what you’re told. Stay low, stay low. Toward the end of the initial training we began looking for one out of the 99 new probies to follow. My name’s Paul Denver. l’m John Caro. Antonius Benetatos–
Tony for short. l was a police officer. For awhile, l was a pizza man,
actually an Irish pizza man in the Bronx. This is my first job. lt sounds kind of cheesy,
but l always kind of wanted to be a hero, and this is really the only thing you can do
that you can do that. lmmediately, we’re, like Okay, this is the kid.
This is the kid. Let’s go. We got Tony assigned
to my firehouse one of the biggest in the city. lt’s Ladder One, plus a whole
other company– Engine Seven. l am so glad l took this job. Can’t beat it. My wife… sometimes she gets,
like, so frustrated at me because l’m so happy to come
to work, you know and she gets up in the morning she’s, like, Oh, l got
to go to work again. Meanwhile, l’m up,
5:30 in the morning. l’m, like,
Honey, l’m going to work. You don’t actually
wear that shirt, do you? They are the greatest,
incredible guys. They are guys who fought some of the worst fires
you can imagine– What’s up with
that shirt? What? What’s
the matter with it? Soon, they’d face
the unthinkable. Question was,
would Tony be ready? l’m terrified. This is what l want to do,
but it’s… it’s scary. l just hope l can… l can do everything that
l’m supposed to do, you know because l want
to help these guys and l want to be a good fireman but you know,
l’m still worried about how l’m going
to actually react when there’s fire flying
over my head. Here goes. What’s your first name? Tony. Tony.
All right. You know you come in on
Thursday, right? Thursday? l wasn’t
sure of that. Thursday night. l am now, sir. You need to sit down? Yes, sir. You want to stop
calling me sir? l’m a little bit nervous. What am l supposed to do
when l come in the morning? Anything l
should know? Uh… be on time. l just… l want to make sure l do everything
l’m supposed to do. Thing is,
when you’re a probie what you’re supposed to do… We got to do the sheets. We change the sheets
in the mornings. …is pretty much everything. More news and traffic coming up. lt’s 6:22. Oh, l… l got work to do… l got a job, babe l got work to do l got work to do l got work to do Oh… oh, oh… Get all the wheels. Then we start on top and wash the rig down. Probie rules. Probie always gets in the sink. Probie does not
go in the TV room, ever. Probie makes sure there’s always hot coffee
in the morning. Do you have an
iron at home? Actually, l do not, sir. You don’t?
No. Probie in a lot of trouble… take two. l think l’m doing decently. l’m still waiting for a fire,
that’s all– just waiting for a fire and l think that will, you know,
make a pretty big difference. Engine, Ladder. Should we grab that big long
thing from the back, too? Thing is, guys say there
are two kinds of probies… Fire’s out. You’re getting closer. …black clouds
and white clouds. When a black cloud comes to the firehouse that probie, he brings all
the fires in the city with him. A white cloud, it’s just
the opposite– no fires. Don’t get me wrong,
there were fires– just not when Tony was on duty. The kid was
one very white cloud. So what do you say? Does it feel
like fire today, or…? Yeah? Okay, so,
we got a suspicious fire. Do we have
any smoke condition at all? Negative. False alarm. So you catch
a job or not? No, no. l figure it was just an
elevator smoking. Tony was ready,
though, right? l was. l was ready. Tony was nervous, of course– terribly nervous– and as the days would pass Tony, waiting for
his first fire, wanted to prove to the other guys
and even more to himself that he was going to be
a real great fireman. Tony. The guys were not going to make it easy on him. No one was singling Tony out. We do it to every probie. Break your chops till you laugh about it.
Right. Because that’s how we do it. We’ll tease you to do death until
you start laughing. Right. No problem. You… got to
Iove this job. Sooner or later,
and you will. But before you can love it you’ve got to learn it. Now, say you’ve got up there
now, you’ve got your helmet on your bunker gear,
and you got to get your mask on. How are you going to do
that without letting go? Uh, l don’t know. When you hit,
what’s the best way to hit? Uh… on-on one knee. Help! Help! Hit. Help! Help! Help! Help! Help! lt’s hot in here. Hurry up.
Make a quick sweep. It’s hot. Means you got to go under
the bed, go under the bed. The next time you do this
for real you’re going to be
more cautious. Right. You did fine. All l want you
to do is learn to relax. All right. You got to remain calm. Okay. You got to control that surge. Okay.
Okay? Not bad. Not bad. That handwriting’s getting
better already. Thank you. All right. lt’s payday today, baby! Yes. Okay, thank you. You’re welcome. For two weeks, l got _672.25. You got to be kidding me. You couldn’t even buy
a six-pack with that. lt’s starting pay, you know? lf l wanted to get rich,
l would have become a lawyer. But l wanted something that l’d be able to live with
for the rest of my life. This l can live with. A lot of the guys feel
that way. You need to get up
in the morning and look yourself in the mirror and say you’re doing something
with your life. Somebody’s in there.
Hit the door. You do your job. You risk your life
to help people… and with time you become part
of a unique, extended family. We do a lot of things
with our families together. You know, you got
a bunch of guys here that just, uh…
they want to be here. Just making some, uh,
onions and mushrooms for the… …for the steaks. How’s it going,
Jimbo, huh? You doing pretty good? Oh, this is good here. Tell me one other job
where everyone sits down to dinner together every night. Sit down, Steve.
You got to be tired now. Let me help you, Steve because l think l’m the only guy
that helps you in this firehouse. l know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. lt’s been four weeks, l think,
five weeks, something like that and l’m still… still no fire,
but it will come. Probably when l’m asleep and not ready for it,
that’s when it will come. lt’s 2:30 in the morning, bro. You can sleep. You can. All right. Trust me.
When the alarm goes off they’ll come and get you. Okay. Engine, Ladder… All right. Shut it down, Stan.
Shut it down. l got to spray water. l’m getting closer. There you are, Tony.
Look– your first fire. And it was a car
fire, no less. That’s all right. My first fire
was a garbage can fire on West Broadway and Franklin. Listen, Tony was
getting closer but for the record,
that was some flame. lt wasn’t a real fire. Hey, Chief, come
see his first fire. lf they’re all like that it’s going to be a fun 20 years. Come here,
there’s fire over here. There’s the fire, see? Start the line,
put out the steaks. By the end of August we knew that we had
a great cooking show and there were no fires. Waiting for a job–
that was a very big concern. but every time we’d talk
with some of the senior guys they always told us Well, be careful
what you wish for. Yesterday, a 27-year-old
firefighter– Staten Island
he was stationed– went to a job
and he passed away. This guy left behind
a two-year-old son and, uh, a baby on the way. You know, this dude was just expecting to go home
and see his girlfriend after the tour that day,
you know. Well, we’ll go
to the funeral on Saturday and… what can you say,
you know? Detail, ten-hut! Stand to! l look back to last summer and it doesn’t just seem
like a different time. lt seems like a different world. At the time, we didn’t think
there could be anything worse than losing
a single firefighter. l mean, looking back,
we were all just… we were kind of innocent,
especially Tony. A bunch of the guys
were talking about what different parts
usually get them at the funeral. When the coffin went past,
that was… that was… that was a little rough. l don’t know. l know l…
l hope it’s my last one. We’ll go straight up right now. There’s a lot of things
going on at all times, you know? Shit’s hitting the fan, the roof
starts to collapse, you got to get off. You know,
you got to really improvise. Right, right.
You know what l mean? Basically, you have to be
on the top of your game. Right. You’re not the O.V.
You’re on top of the game. Right. This is not a joke, this job. Right. There’s a lot of things
to think about, you know? And tunnel vision,
focus, really. Right, right. Because that’s what’s going
to keep you alive and that’s what’s going
to give you the opportunity to help anybody else. Right. Right. You ready to go down? Fire or no fire, Tony had
Iearned a lot that summer. Sure, he had a ways to go,
but we’d teach him. Far as we knew,
there was plenty of time. A few days later, Jules cooked
a French dinner for the guys… at least, he tried to. Decided to cook leg of lamb which l had told them
for a long time was one of my specialties. l think he cooked one and we really needed
at least five. Where’s Frenchie? Couple more meals
like this we’ll be able
to share shirts. All right, all right.
l got a small piece. So what? My mistake. We stayed up late just telling jokes
and busting chops. This is it.
That’s all that’s left. This is the best part
of the meat. Even though the guys were
making fun of us because we didn’t cook enough we were all having
a great time. We were getting accepted. Touchdown! We all joked all night long. lt was really a great night. Little did we know. lt was the night
of September 10. lt’s going
to be a beautiful day today. Sunshine throughout,
Iow humidity. Really a splendid
September day. The afternoon temperature
about 80 degrees. Great weather
for the primary election. Tonight, clear and cool… lt’s begun to sound
like some sort of a clich but really,
September 1 1 started out like every other day. Currently, winds out of the
northwest six miles per hour. Relative humidity, 700/o. 66 in Newark,
64 degrees in Bridgeport 67 in Midtown
and heading for 80. 8:OO in the morning. Don’t throw the fat away,
please. The day guys were
just coming in. l was off that day. 13 guys from myfirehouse
Were On. What happened? Around 8:30… Ladder! …l believe the run came in. Holy shit! Right then and there,
l knew that this was going to be the worst
day of my life as a firefighter. lmmediately, l knew
that this wasn’t an accident. What am l
doing on this…? Go, go to the
Trade Center. We knew, you know, this was
going to be something unusual something tough,
but it would be something we could handle,
or… at least deal with. Oh, my God. That looked like
a direct attack. Chief Pfeifer made
the first official report. Battalion 1 to Manhattan. We have a number
of floors on fire. lt looked like the plane was
aiming towards the building. Transmit a third alarm. We’ll have the staging area
at Vesey and West Street. That would be
One World Trade Center? lt was probably
a two-minute ride but it seemed
like it was forever because there was a lot of
things going through your head. Felt sorry for the people,
the people inside the building. What was going to happen,
nobody had any idea. We’ve never experienced
something like this before. Everyone we was passing was looking up. lt was like the world
just stopped. We are just currently getting a look
at the World Trade Center. We have something
that has happened here. Flame and an awful lot of smoke
from one of the towers. Whatever has occurred has just
occurred, uh, within minutes and we are trying
to determine… You want me to pull right in here?
No, go. As we swung around
in front of World Trade my mind tells me Wow. This is bad. What do we do? What do we do for this? We’ll get a team up… We park right under the awning
of One World Trade Center. Chief Pfeifer puts his gear on,
and l remember asking him Chief, can l come in with you? l want to come in with you and he says… Yeah, you stay with me. Come in with me.
Never leave my sight. l go in and l hear screams and right to my right there is
two people on fire, burning. l just didn’t want
to film that. lt was like no one…
no one should see this. Pfeifer was the first chief
into the building. Right away, a guy from
the Port Authority told him the damage was
somewhere above the 78 Floor but all you had to do
was look around– it was obvious
something had happened right there in the lobby. You just saw that all
the windows were blown out. The lobby looked like the plane hit the lobby. Later, they’d figure out that flaming jet fuel had shot straight down
the elevator shaft. All of this damage
was done already. People was all over the place. So you knew
it was going to be worse when we got upstairs. Flames are shooting out. Smoke is pouring out. l want you to get
an engine and team up… To get an outside line? Don’t go any higher
than the 78. What floor are
we talking about? 78. My main concern was we had 20 floors of people
above… Chief, you have any idea
where the floors are… …and we had to figure out
a way to get them out. Chief, we haven’t found
an elevator… You don’t have
an elevator yet? As it turned out,
we had no usable elevators. The freight elevator
is gone. Any elevators working? With the elevators out there was only one way to get
up there: walk. Companies come in. You see them with a concerned
Iook on their face… We got an extra man. …and they’re sent up. A firefighter in full gear carrying 60-something pounds
of hose and equipment takes about a minute to climb
one flight of stairs. These guys were looking at
80 stories just to get there. Then they’d start working. l felt the mood that we were
going to put the fire out. Everyone seemed
to be confident. l know l was. You basically looked at it
and said Okay, we got ten, 20 stories
of fire. We’ll deal with it. We’ll get up there. W-we’ll get to it. There are fire crews just
screaming into this area from every conceivable
direction. By this time some of the top chiefs
in the department had joined Chief Pfeifer running the command post… sending guys upstairs. Every time l looked around it was new faces; some that l recognized. l had seen Chief Pronti– great guy,
white hair, mustache– the perfect grandfather
that you’d like to have. l remember seeing
Lieutenant Fody– who was working with
Nine Engine– said hello,
and then started going up. Another of the men who went up
was Lieutenant Kevin Pfeifer. He was in charge of Engine 33 and he was the chief’s brother. l just remember we both
Iooked at each other said a few words, and… but it was more the look,
with a real concern that this was going to be
something tough. lt’s going to be a tough job. lt’s going to be a long job. They’ll put it out.
That’s what they do. The last time Jules
had seen his brother was an hour ago
at the firehouse. As far as Jules knew Gedeon had followed Tony,
the probie, into the tower. When we had left for the odor of gas in the street… …for me, he was in the engine and then when we arrived
to the Trade Center he went up immediately
with the guys. So for me, my brother
is going up the stairs. lt turns out Gedeon
was with Tony… Engine Seven, Ladder One. This is Firefighter Benetatos. …but Tony was still
at the firehouse… No, l was off duty. …and now he’d been ordered
to stay there. Everybody’s been recalled. All available units must come
back to the firehouse. While Tony tried to keep up
with the phones… This is Firefighter Benetatos. …Gedeon took his camera
and started walking down towards the Trade Center. He was sure
his brother was inside and he wanted to get to him. l remember slowly walking down
to the World Trade Center. What really sticks in my mind is passing by people
and filming them and filming their astonishment. Eyes saying,
This is not happening. l remember tilting the camera
back and forth between the people
and the tower in front of me. Let’s go!
Let’s move it! Both towers of
the World Trade Center have been hit by aircraft both are in flames both have suffered
explosions… There is a black smoke coming from both of the towers. lt’s a horrific scene, here. There’s debris flying through
the air over the East River here into Brooklyn… Mayday! Mayday! There were
two planes. l saw the second one hit. lt hit the other tower. What we knew is
that a second plane hit and we had
a lot of people trapped. Stay together! Stay together! Let me know what’s going on. We’re just going to have
to walk it. There’s one way to go. A second plane just hit. Motherfuckers! Now the chiefs
would have to set up a whole other operation
over in Tower Two. He’s going to… l’m going to send him up. Okay. This was planned.
This was planned. When the second plane hit that’s when you could see fear. Both of them
are on fire. You could see it
in everybody’s eye. Do not come down here. Tell her your
co-workers are with you. There were people from all over
the world in the streets… …different colors,
different languages. On those few blocks between the firehouse
and the World Trade Center the entire world was there… Two aircraft! The first one on
One World Trade Center! The second one
just happened. …and they were all looking
at the same thing and talking about
the same thing and reacting the same way. l saw it!
A plane! You saw a plane go in? A plane went straight
into the building right there
into the side! A plane?
Yeah. That was a direct hit. There were two planes? There’s two. One in each building? l saw the last one. We heard, Boom! and
the whole building… What are those people
going to do? All the elevators
are blocked out. The staircases might still be…
right? The stairs were crowded. People were coming down burnt. Upstairs in Tower One the guys from my firehouse were now ten floors up,
and climbing. lf we did talk, it was
to the people coming down trying to comfort them,
telling them, It’s all right. Get out, stay calm. l wound up finding a woman
in the C staircase. Her arms were all burnt. She was just sitting there,
basically in shock. So, l picked her up
under her arms and l put her in
with a group of guys and asked the group of guys to,
you know, take her down. l spoke with one person,
l think the highest floor that l had heard was about a survivor
from the 80th floor coming down. So you know
that that was intact. We knew it was going to be
a long haul getting up there and you had to try to conserve as much energy as possible,
if-if that was even possible. l’m hot. You know, l could feel the blood
in my-my neck pumping. l could feel my whole,
you know, my whole heart my whole system is
really working. l knew we had to get up
to help people. We had to get up there. l knew we’d get there but it was just going
to take a while. You’re talking about thousands
of casualties and thousands
of potential casualties. They was pretty much saying,
God bless you. l can’t believe y’all going up and we’re coming down. People, they did…
pretty much said Why y’all going up there?
Get out. People in Stairwell C
coming down, please. Their concern
was to get everybody out– that was the key–
as much people out as possible. Most of the people in Tower One
came out on the mezzanine
above the lobby. Then, they’d get out
through another building. All right, l want to use
the lobby of Seven as a triage. The chiefs didn’t want anyone
going through the lobby doors. First, it was because debris
was falling outside. Then… Jumpers, jumpers! …it was people falling. You don’t see it,
but you know what it is and you know that every time
you hear that crashing sound it’s a life
which is extinguished. lt’s not something
you could get used to and the sound was so loud. l just remember looking up thinking,
How bad is it up there that the better option
is to jump? Let’s go! Get off the corners! Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go! Like something out of The
Towering Inferno, like a movie. WINS news time, 9:12. A major disaster in New York
City this morning. Breaking news now,
on 1010 WINS. Well, we now have some insight as to what’s going on
in the air here. The FBl is now
investigating reports of a plane hijacking before these crashes
we’re telling you about at the World Trade Center
towers this morning. Rescue crews are making
their way to the scene and all of this unfolding
in one of the busiest places in the world–
Downtown Manhattan. Again, both towers hit
by aircraft. Again, two planes involved
in two crashes into either tower
of the World Trade Center at about ten to 9:OO and five after 9:OO
this morning. Pieces of the building
and the planes actually landed blocks away. Do not walk in this area,
please! Gedeon was walking
with his camera when he found a chunk
of the plane engine that had crashed completely
through Tower Two. Whoa, whoa, what are you doing? Don’t be kicking stuff.
This is evidence. Now, you don’t kick it. All right, just get out
of the area. Just go. This is evidence.
You’re kicking stuff. What’s the matter with you?
Come on, let’s go. That was as close as Gedeon
would get to the Trade Center without a firefighter, anyway. Let’s go! Move! So l decided that the smartest thing
to do was to slowly walk back
to the firehouse and find a way to go to Jules. We’re just getting word now one of the two planes
was hijacked after takeoff from Boston. Two airplanes have crashed into the World Trade Center in an apparent terrorist attack
on our country. We now have reports of a fire
at the Pentagon. Fire at the Pentagon
being reported this morning. l was just saying that officials are calling this
an act of terrorism. They’re saying
that’s clearly what it is– clearly not an accident. Arriving back at the firehouse and Tony’s still alone and he has no clue
of what to do. The Pentagon? The Pentagon’s
on fucking fire? War– this is war. And just by listening to him
freaking out and swearing and behaving like l’ve never
seen him behaving Tony was expressing
what we all felt. At that point, l saw
the fireman in him taking over. l can’t believe
the fucking Pentagon. Somebody has balls. l mean, a few times he was
just putting his gear on and about to rush
through the door and realizing that he was
the only one in charge of this empty firehouse and going back
to the house watch and looking again
at those pictures on TV and just to make sure
that it was real. We have these
two enormous explosions at the World Trade Center
here in New York… Tony just wanted to go there. …is open from 23 up. At stairway B. ln the lobby,
the chiefs were trying to run the largest rescue operation
any of them had ever seen… …to any units from Tower One
on the floor. …with next to no information
coming in from outside. You got a phone
that’s working? l think the entire world
knew more than we did. Everybody had seen the attacks. Everybody had seen
the tower burning… …had seen the Pentagon. For us we didn’t have a clue what
was going on outside our lobby. Please, go that way! One elevator’s working
going up… What elevator’s working? lt was like a beehive,
that place. Everybody’s working
on the phone. Everybody’s working
on the radio. Everybody’s getting
information– sending guys up,
getting reports… and just trying to get
this thing under control. At one point,
there was even a rumor a third plane
was heading in. There’s another plane coming in! You’ve got to remember at that moment,
anything seemed possible. …the NYPD. Port Authority police
and the military and l need that done now! There’s another
fucking plane? You get as many people out of the building,
Iet it burn up… No, no, not only do we got
a lot of people in there we got to get
these people out. That’s got to be…
That’s the priority. On top of everything else just talking to the guys
in the stairwells was tough. Four-David to Battalion Seven. The towers’ internal
communications setup had been knocked out
by the crash. That left
Fire Department radios. Suddenly, you have hundreds
and hundreds of firefighters that have radios. Command Post to Battalion Seven. lt seems to become
more and more difficult. Command Post to Battalion Seven. OEM-1 to base. Please provide me again
with your location. ls anyone in this car? ls there anyone in this car? There was one guy from the WTC who was trying frantically to
reach anyone on the elevators. 69 car, anyone in this car? Hello. Is there anyone
in this car? And going through the list… Hello. Is there anyone
in this car? And there’s about 98 elevators
in the World Trade Center. These fucking cars are dead. lf you can’t speak… ln the middle of all this suddenly an elevator opens up and you see people not having
a clue of what’s going on because they’ve been stuck
in there since the first plane hit. l was seeing the look
on the firefighters. l don’t know… lt was not fear; it was What’s going on? Disbelief. That made me panic
a little bit. That made me panic. lt was the first time
l had seen Father Judge– The Chaplain, as he’s called. He was in the lobby with us and l could tell
that he was praying. You know, Father Judge he would at least make
eye contact with you and kind of give you
a reassuring look. That wasn’t occurring– almost like he knew
that this was not good. This is a dangerous… this is a dangerous way
to go out. You just can’t believe it. There is one big hole
in the side of this building and there’s little flames now
and lots of lots of smoke and people that l’ve talked to
were, like How big is the plane?
How big is the plane? We’ve been hearing reports
that it is a plane. Back at the firehouse… What’s up?
What’s up? …off-duty guys
were starting to show up. We’re just waiting
right now. What’s that? We’re just waiting
right now. Tony was… he just had
one thing in his mind… This is bad. …to go there,
and he couldn’t. Two swift alarms
right away. And you know the fucking
Pentagon is burning now. What? The Pentagon
is on fire. They want everybody
to stay here. They’re going to deploy us
as needed. Right now,
they got enough guys down there. They want us in case
anything else breaks out. And that’s when
Chief Byrnes arrived. l need a cup of coffee. Larry Byrnes joined
the Fire Department in 1 957. Retired a battalion chief
three years ago. l couldn’t wait.
l had to get down there because, you know what? They’re my firefighters,
it’s my building, it’s my city. Get your gear
all together. Get a flashlight
and a bottle of water. Okay. Told the probie Get your gear. Let’s go. l remember Tony asking me to bring him some gloves–
medical gloves. Grab a box of gloves.
Go grab a box of gloves. And by the time l found them and rushed back… …they were gone. The probie and the retired
chief were lost in the crowd headed down to the Trade Center. Oh, Lord. l think at that point the lobby was pretty empty. There were just a few of us
in the lobby and… and we were
discussing tactics. This is Tower One? This is Tower One.
Put a big one here. Some of the outlying companies
didn’t know what Tower One was and Tower Two, so we were just
trying to help them out by writing it on the desk
to make it obvious to people. lt was just before 10:OO a little over an hour
since the first plane hit. Firefighters from all over the
city were inside those towers– hundreds of them. Battalion One to Battalion Two. A situation that started bad just gets worse
and worse and worse. The World Trade Center
South Tower which was hit by a plane
and racked by an explosion approximately an hour ago,
has totally collapsed. What happened? All right, folks… Get out of the street. lf you’re just joining us
this morning you’re in for a…
a horrific surprise. The scene here is just one right out of one of those movies
you would see in Hollywood: People walking around
with cell phones, in tears holding their heads, looking up at what’s left
of the World Trade Center and just shaking their heads
in disbelief. Out on the street… everyone knew
what just happened. The South Tower was gone. What the hell is going on?! They saw it collapse and ran. l waited. Time slowed down and everything
became pitch black. Everybody all right? Yeah, l’m okay. How’s the way out of here? And then realized:
Okay, l’m… l’m not dead. Yeah, right here. So, let’s turn on
my floodlight on top of my camera. All right,
come on down this way. Yeah, let’s get out
the way we came in! Everybody down.
Everybody down. Okay, okay. Come on back. Everybody down. lnside the Trade Center all Jules
and Chief Pfeifer knew… Charles?
Yeah, right here! …all anyone knew… …was that something
had gone terribly wrong. Got a light? They’re going down. No, no. Come here. They asked me, You
with the light, help us out. We’ve got to get everybody out.
Let’s go! l was pointing my light
wherever they needed. Right here. Right here, right here. l remember seeing Chief Pfeifer. Command Post from Tower One: All units evacuate the building. Command Post to all units. He gave it right away;
very calm, didn’t wait and it was…
for him, it was a precaution. lt was, Okay,
something wrong is happening. Let’s get everybody out. Where’s that flashlight? Everybody is getting out. From the tone of his voice l knew that it was
no normal thing. l knew it was time to leave. l remember saying to the guys Well, we’re on our own now. And for the first time l looked in someone else’s eyes
and saw fear… …which you don’t see
with fire. We orderly evacuated. lt was such a long walk– 20…
what, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13. l was going down the stairs. l could remember a fireman resting on the landing
and telling them you know, We’ve heard a Mayday.
Get out of the building. l don’t think they…
a lot of them– l know for a fact–
did not take it serious. You start to feel your anxiety
build up… …take a deep breath,
and you say lt’s going to be all right. Let’s just keep going. l have brothers ahead of me,
brothers behind me. We’re in this together,
we’re fighting together and we’re going to do
what we have to do. Sarge? What? Hey, Pete! Come on. Pete! l was not even
consciously filming. l just had my camera by my side and pointing the light
wherever they needed. Needed my light to…
to-to actually help someone and then l realized
it was Father Judge. Hurry up! Okay, guys, here,
we need a hand here. Hey, guys,
you come back down! They saw him lying at the base
of the escalator where we were I
and l removed his white collar
and l opened up his shirt and l remember checking
for his pulse and realizing at that time… um… he was gone. All right,
we got four guys. O’Neill. Off the escalator
right here. Come on! Okay, right here. Come on, guys, let’s go! Follow my light. Top of the escalator. Top of the escalator? Top of the escalator. After that,
we had to figure out how to get out
of where we were. …floor to the Command Post. Do you want us to evacuate? Because if you go out this way,
right where we are now… people are still jumping… …debris is still falling
and it’s too dangerous. You cannot go out this way. What? One World Trade Center we took a hit
on that last explosion. Command post is being evacuated
at this time. l have people in here who cannot get out
due to the debris field. 1 O-4. Can we get out here? Going out this way, Chief? Hold it, hold it. Chief Pfeifer tells the people
carrying Father Judge Okay, stay here. Which way? l told them that l’ll be back and wait here, and l’ll see if
the bridge is-is still here. Chief Pfeifer went to check
one of the footbridges leading out
of the Trade Center. lf it was still standing,
it’d be their best way out. What are we gonna do? There’s no way to get home. lt’s going to be okay. Did you hear what happened
with the other tower? lt’s gone. You see the tower collapse? The top or the whole thing? Looked like
the whole thing and now what
they said was uh, FBl just came here
and they said that uh, that a third plane
is what did it. Another plane hit it. We’ll head down together. And now l wonder
for the first time if… if Jules is still alive. l never thought about it before. Have any firemen
been hurt? Honey, it’s a terrible,
terrible day. l’m sure there have been. l realize that Jules could
be dead that very moment and l was feeling…
so responsible. l was the one who put him
in this situation. l had to find Jules. Gedeon hitched a ride
with three off-duty firemen determined to get to
the Trade Center the only way they could– in a pickup truck. Billy Cosgrove! We shouldn’t have
even come in here, man. All floors are leaving. Everybody out of Tower One. Okay! Battalion One to Division One. We walk and we walk
and we walk and… Go with the Mayday.
Go with the Mayday. There are Maydays being given and we start to figure out:
Okay… We should be able
to get out here. …it must be worse
than we think because you cannot have
that many Maydays and all that dust
and that noise. Mayday! Mayday! Mayday… No! No! That’s when l felt
the danger… for the first time. lt was all around you. l mean… every single cell
of your body is telling you… You should not be here. The scenery was
radically different. l mean, it was… it’s
white powder everywhere. Just a few people
here and there… Take yourself a mask. We got masks,
we got an extra cylinder and l want to go in. …and this kind of silence. You okay? We have ambulances
straight down. Of course, there’s no word
on casualties… We have ambulances
straight down. …but suffice to say, the loss
of life presumably profound. Ambulances are
straight down. Of course at this point everyone’s concern
is just getting north getting away
from the World Trade Center as well as finding out
where their families are. The South Tower of the World
Trade Center just minutes ago collapsed to the ground. Only one tower is standing
at this point. l have a direct line of sight to what is left
of the World Trade Center. The fire continues to burn. l can see the flames
through the thick smoke. Battalion One to check out. l follow the chief. By this time, Chief Pfeifer
had found a safe exit… …and tried to radio the men
in the lobby. No answer. Page a Mayday.
Go with a Mayday. So we walked across the bridge
back towards the Trade Center still trying to call on the
radio and not getting through. The guys that we had left there they’re not there anymore. They had already
gone out another way carrying the body of Father
Mychal Judge down the street to Saint Peter’s Church. They laid his body
on the altar. The chief, his aide Eddy Fahey,
and Jules walked outside underneath the footbridge
they just crossed and into a scene that none of
them could even comprehend. And there’s debris everywhere. There’s dust covering
the entire place… Battalion Two to Division One… …and we look,
and the tower is here. So we said, Okay, probably
it was something else. The tower is nice. lt’s standing, and the other
one, we can’t see it but it’s probably just,
you know, on the other side and no one tells us–
we have no clue. Where the Trade Center was was, uh,
just covered with smoke and that’s not unusual
for a fire to have a building disappear
behind the smoke. And there was a… just a-a sense that this wasn’t
a good place to stay. So we walk north. Just trying to figure out
what took place here and then try to gain
some control. Emergency! Emergency… So we started to rebuild
some sort of structure. All right, we got
everybody out of the lobby who was in the lobby. Chief Pfeifer’s priority
was to set up a new command post
and find his men. Right now, they were
coming down the stairs. At some point l started to run. l don’t even know if l was
touching stairs on my way down. When l got about
to three or two is when l started
to think of my family, you know. l said, l’ve got
to get out of here. When we got out to the lobby…
it was unbelievable. Nobody was around. Command station, there was
nobody at the command station. lt looked like
the end of the world. l-l… joked about it. l said the command post
was abandoned. The board was set up
and nobody was there. l said, Oh,
this is not a good sign. l knew there was nothing
l could really do. l mean, l was not a fireman. l had absolutely
no medical expertise at all. l was just a civilian. But as a cameraman… yeah, there was
something l could do– and it was to document
what was happening. So the cameraman took over
and just filmed. Gedeon had made his way as
close to the tower as he could. Strange enough, the only thing
that was… that was… my preoccupation was to… to… to clean my lens. l don’t know if it was a way
for me to try focus on something so l can… stay away
from the horror, the reality but it, uh, it was
just my obsession was my lens needs
to be cleaned. People jumped. Jules was with Chief Pfeifer,
who was plotting his next move. The firefighters from my house had reached the lobby
and scattered. You know, kind of walking
at this point. We knew we were out of the
building, felt we were safe. Unfortunately, there were people
jumping out of windows. You could see them hitting
the ground all around you debris hitting the ground. l thought we was going
to get out the building the chiefs will meet up but then we come up with a plan
and then we go back in. That’s what l thought
it would be something like. Just before l walked out a fireman
out in the middle of the street was yelling at me, Wait! Wait!
throwing up his hands and, uh, that time l waited and there was a big thud
and then another thud and, uh, it was two people who had fallen or jumped
from way high up. Get yourself accounted for with Chief Gorey
down at staging. Let’s move!
Come on, Officers. Basically,
everybody was standing right in the shadow
of Tower One. lt was 10:28 in the morning. And then comes
that-that sound again. And l don’t even have time
to think at that point. l just run. And it’s dead silence;
it’s nothing no radio calls, no…
no sound, nothing. And l feel the person
who was on top of me get up… Let’s get out of here. You with me?
Yeah. …and l recognize
it’s Chief Pfeifer’s voice and l just realized just,
you know he jumped on top of me
to protect me from all this. Help!
Help! Chief Pfeifer said,
Okay, let’s go now and we get up,
the dust starts to clear because the wind was blowing
in the opposite direction. After that it was
just trying to literally walk around the block
and regroup and walk back to the scene
and see what we could do. Less than a block away, Gedeon
was still in darkness. The pounding stopped and you realized now that you just can’t
breathe anymore. We need help! Let’s go
before the cars blow up! This way! Let’s go
before the cars blow up! At that point l realized
that l was going to die. Tell me where to go! Over here behind the edge
of the truck. Over here.
Keep shouting. Here, come to the truck. Come on, we got to get
out of here. You got to fucking move,
Mftn . And the only thing
l could think about was Jules and l remember telling myself
that if l would survive that l would…
l would be a better brother. Over here. Yeah, let’s go. You can make it. Help him. Help him! Quickly. He weighs 400 pounds, dude. You get over here. We have to leave here. He’s not standing. You need to come over here
and fucking help me. The last person
Gedeon had filmed was now lying
in the middle of the street. Grab his legs. This guy must have been
standing outside in the street when everything collapsed,
and he survived it. And with the help
of an FBl agent he walked him to safety. And we can’t see a thing. You have to walk, sir.
You have to walk. You’re almost there,
almost there. Come on. And he would pass out
every second. So it was very difficult
to carry him. Thank you both. Help me!
Help me! Towards us! Shit. Do you have some water,
something to drink? Thanks. Open your mouth. Open your mouth
’cause l need the water, too. Thanks. l had been in this street
three times in the last hour. The first time,
it was full of people the second time, everybody
was running away from it and the third time… getting out
of the last collapse there was just nobody. And everything was white. Everything was covered
by the dust. Holy shit. lt was the most surreal scene
l have ever seen. l cannot describe
what took place. lt is a scene
just not to be believed. The smoke still billowing. What we do have is a lockdown. You can’t get in;
you can’t get out. You can’t go up;
you can’t go down. l see that l’m still
in the middle of the street and l see there is
a little deli that seems to be open
on the corner. Yeah, we’re getting 02 now. Oh, okay. Come on in, guys. He’s in the back! He’s in the back!
Make a right. A lot of people injured– Hey! firefighters, bloody noses things like that. And then it hits me–
Now, where is my brother? l was upstairs.
l was in the lobby. Go back here. l start realizing that
l’ve probably lost my brother. So l try to go back
to the World Trade Center. l need to go find my brother. Where are the guys? l have no idea. l was with
Chief Pfeifer. And l’m in the middle
of the street, walking and a cop approached me
and says, you know Who are you with? l’m with the Chief
of Battalion One. Oh, you’re Battalion One?
Yes. You got l.D.?
Got l.D.? l have my letter of, uh,
from the Commissioner… Take your letter
and your camera and get out of here…
all right? Go. So l go back up walk north, not really
knowing where l’m going. You with the
police department? No, l’m making a documentary
on the fire department. fucking Disneyland.
Let’s go. And after l while l said You know, there’s nothing
l can do here. l need to go back
to the firehouse. Maybe they’ll have some news. Maybe he’s already back there but at that point, l just… l think he’s dead… and it becomes… it becomes
too overwhelming. Walking back to the firehouse l’m not trying to think
for one second about Jules. That was too much. Don’t worry, honey. Everyone’s asking me,
What happened? What happened? l said, l don’t know. l said, Hell.
Hell is what happened. lt just came down, and it
wasn’t supposed to come down. l came back to the firehouse. Let’s go, guys. Let’s go, guys,
Iet’s move it. Let’s go, guys,
Iet’s move it. Very emotional. A lot of guys are crying. l’m crying. You all right? Eh? Where the fuck were you? l couldn’t get back in. They wouldn’t let me up. And still we don’t know
how many guys are missing. We’re down there looking. l got thrown into
two ambulances. We bolted, we ran. l never got so many hugs
in my life. They were
glad to be alive hugs. lt was a great thing
to-to know that, uh… that, uh, people
were surviving this. l thought you guys
were dead. You’re not
the only one. l thought
l was dead. We lost so much that…
in that two-hour period. How you doing?
All right? We felt like we got
the hell kicked out of us. l’m in shock. l don’t know what to do, man. Go back down there or what? l’m fucking in shock. Everyone okay? You guys were
in the building? Yeah. So many thoughts and emotions. We got to call our loved ones,
tell them we were okay. We made it out. We just made it out. l was never so happy to
hear my mother’s voice. Oh, my mother… All right, guys? Little to little the guys started to come back,
one by one. Again, the cameraman
would just film. l mean, it was
just like, vroom! You heard the ground rumble,
and it was just… fucking debris was just
chasing you. We were running!
Hauling ass! So, it was just filming them
coming back and asking them if they had seen Jules and nobody could answer
this question. Are you tired, brother? lt was extremely frustrating
and annoying. One guy from the firehouse
came to me and l asked him, you know,
Have you seen Jules? Do you know where he is? and he looked at me,
and he said Yes, he’s behind you… and l turn over…
and Jules was there in the firehouse. l didn’t even see him
coming in. And it was like meeting
for the first time. l ask Jules if he’s all right and he tells me, Yes. He tells me that he was
all that time in the lobby. l never thought l would be
so happy to meet my brother that’s for sure. Cried like babies
for about ten minutes. And, um, l know now
what it’s like to think you’re going to die. Oh, fuck, man,
we were worried about you guys. We didn’t know
what happened to you guys. Oh, God. Everybody…
everybody’s accounted for? Yeah.
Right here. You got everybody? Everybody’s accounted for? Engine 3-1-6… You all right? l-l can’t believe
we all made it out. How did we make it out
of that building? 30 seconds… another two flights higher. Why am l alive,
and so many others are dead? Got down to the lobby and we saw they abandoned
the command post we knew we
were in trouble. We camped out, it was,
it was, it was much worse than it was going up. Yeah. Right? We went up,
and they had everything set up. We came down,
it was desolate. l was, like,
Holy shit… We came down to the lobby,
it was like a fuckin’ war zone. There was nobody there. Where the fuck…?
What do we do? We made it outside,
we made it about a block… We made it
at least two blocks and we started running. Floor by floor,
it started popping out. lt was as if they
had detonated… Yeah, detonated… …planned to take
down a building. Boom, boom, boom, boom,
boom, boom, boom! All the way down. l was watching it and running. Just ran up West Street. And then you just saw this cloud
of shit chasing you down… Where did you go? Just ran up West Street. Couldn’t outrun it. So what’d you do? l jumped under
a battalion car. I
l hid under the car
just waiting to die. The scene here is reminiscent
of a nuclear winter… Right now, everyone
is walking around with masks
covering their faces. People just wandering
the streets covered in blood,
covered in plaster. They were near the site
when the buildings collapsed. We were on about, l think
it was the 28th floor we hear this
fuckin’ rumblin’ and l guess that’s
when Two came down. l guess it hit One, crushed
out the Marriott, whatever… Am l right? Thought
we were fuckin’ dead. l guess the best way
to sum this up is the World Trade Center
is no more. Sit down. One, two, three… The loss of life,
one can only imagine is just enormous… it must be
incomprehensible at this point. They have a fireman’s… They have a fireman’s body
in ten, in house, on the floor. They dragged him in,
but they can’t identify him ’cause the shirt where
his name is, is ripped and it’s only half a body. Building started shaking… guys started running and, and, uh, by the time
l got to the bottom there was bodies
hitting the ground. Chaplain– we carried out
the chaplain. He was dead. He was dead? Yeah. lt exploded, it all…
just blew us all in. The fire department
chaplain? Yeah. Old guy. Fuck. He had no pulse,
nothing. We lucked… you know,
in a way, we lucked out. We were in One.
Two fell first. Then they told us to get out. Two fell first? Two fell first. l can’t
figure this out. lt fell while we were
in the building. Yeah. That’s why–
we were lucky. When you guys came out of the
building, Two was already gone. Yeah! Really? Yeah. Two was gone
when we came out of One. Watching on the news, Two
fell… One didn’t fall for… That’s what they
were getting us out. The United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts. Son of a bitch. l’m going to want a list of the New York City
firefighters and officers that are willing
to go back to work again. Okay? We probably
won’t be leaving for at least a half hour
but l want to get a list. Yeah, l don’t why myself
and the other guys were picked to survive this. We’re gonna need
masks down there. ln a way, l feel that there
must be a reason. We’ll leave as soon as we get
the order from, uh, Division. What am l supposed to do
to… to earn this? lt’s not easy being a survivor. Put your head
back now, gently. You okay?
Yeah. Oh, that day…
that day changed everything. l think
l got fibers in there. You got fibers
in there. When l came back that day
to the firehouse one firefighter came to me
and he said, You know yesterday you had one brother. Today you have 50. lt’s good to see you. lt’s hard to even describe the emotions in the firehouse
that day. On one hand,
you celebrated. Very frightful day, man. Very happy to be here. Somehow the guys
from our house, they got out. Everybody came back,
one by one, to the firehouse except… one. Did you see Tony over there?
Benetatos? Huh?
Tony. Benetatos is the
only one that, uh… Here we were, all accounted for except for Tony. Everybody was wondering
about Tony. At the same time, we knew
hundreds of firefighters thousands of people… had to
have died in those towers. And every hour that passed we were more certain
Tony Benetatos was one of them. Can anybody hear me? Hey, guys, Deputy Chief Hill
called, First Division. He doesn’t want anybody else
down there right now. They got a million guys that are
standing around doing nothing. So, it’s a direct order
from Hill. l’d come in from home and, yeah, we were ordered
to stay at the firehouse… Let’s go, guys!
Let’s move it out! Let’s move it out!
Let’s go! …but the truth is… …the guys had to go back had to start digging
for survivors. Let’s go! That fuckin’ mentality– Get in there, get in there,
get in there get the people out– is bred in you,
it’s programmed into you. l had to go back… Billy… …and find the kid. Shit! lt’s gone, man. Seven came down? l got down there just as Seven
World Trade finally collapsed. No sign of Tony anywhere. lt had to be almost 6:OO nine hours
after everything started… Hey, Benetatos! …that Tony just walked in. l walked in, like, a daze and they were all like,
Hey, it’s Benetatos. You’re all right. What’s wrong with your hand? Anything? Nah. No? You’re all right? Yeah. Just chill out. How you doing? You okay? Yeah, l’m all right. What happened on your end? l was
in the building. Were you? ls everyone from the house…? Everyone? Everybody is
accounted for. Thank God. Sit down over there.
There are some benches. You want something to drink?
Want something to eat? How you doing, Tony? Have some fruit–
nice Vitamin C there for you. You all right? So everyone’s accounted for? Everyone here, yeah. Everyone who was out at…
out at the box? You were the last one. You motherfuckers, man. l was so sure you dudes
were dead, man. l’m fuckin’ diggin’ through shit and you fuckers are
chillin’ here, eatin’ oranges and l’m roamin’ around
Iooking for you, man… The last one
that went out there came back, and we were all okay. l left here right after
the first collapse. Turns out Tony had been with Larry Byrnes
the whole time– the probie
and the retired chief. They were right there
when Tower One came down. Go, go, go, go, go! Go! Get behind this building! Get behind this building! Get in, get in, get in,
get in! We go into the various
surrounding buildings… Come on! Follow the street!
Hello! Come to the light! …trying to calm
people down… Stay where you are. Stay here until you
hear differently. …directing people
to go to the Brooklyn Bridge to get off the island. Everybody please evacuate
the area immediately! There’s people… crying… Oh, my God! …people injured. The one that sticks out
in my mind– There’s a guy… his arm
had gotten, looked like severed here, and he was holding
his right arm in his left as he was running and he was screaming
as l was hacking: l need a medic!
l got a bad bleed! you know,
and that kind of shocked me. We kept going. l checked all the rigs. There were rigs crushed paramedic trucks covered
with rubble, flipped. Fires burning everywhere–
huge fires. That whole day,
l just searched through rubble lifting things up,
checking underneath. lt was hard for him. lt was very hard for him. He’s only been a firefighter for, you know,
a couple of months but he proved himself that day
to all the guys, yeah. There was so much that we didn’t know about
that first day– who had attacked us, how, why. All we knew was that nothing
would ever be the same. l must’ve saw about
seven or eight bodies flying through the air,
coming from 80 floors up. And then, of course the images of the replay
that never stops– of the planes hitting,
the towers coming down– and it was like,
Whew… okay, enough TV. Thankfully, the power went out
about that time. So it was… it was a relief. The generator may be
in the, uh, courtyard and then we’ll hook the lights
into it. l got two more sets
of lights coming. The entire downtown Manhattan
Iost power. lt was really this feeling that we’re going to be there
for a long time. Just a short while ago,
Mayor Giuliani held a news conference,
saying it’s important not to lash out in anger
because of the attacks on the World Trade Center… At the firehouse that night we just tried
to take it all in. lt’s weird, like,
Iook at the date. Nine-one-one? That’s the date. But that’s just it.
The whole thing. They know we were all
ready for New Year’s Eve we’re all ready for this,
we’re all ready for that; we’re not ready
for September 1 1 . What, has anybody seen the news?
What else happened? You know what? l’m afraid to
watch the news. Both towers
are completely leveled. Both towers… Three buildings are fuckin’–
completely fuckin’ gone. Four, Five, Six,
and Seven are gone. Gone. They’re all gone. The roof of the Marriott– we were on the roof
of the Marriott. There was parts all over the
fuckin’ place– legs, feet… lt was nasty. You all right? Yeah, l’m all right. One of the things
that sticks with me more than everything l saw,
is l sat down next to Ted– he looked real bad. He said, Tony, man, it was… it was raining bodies. l just… the way he said it,
man, l just… The man had been through hell. Good evening. Today, our fellow citizens,
our way of life our very freedom came
under attack in a series of deliberate
and deadly terrorist acts. lt’s a very depressed,
dismal, miserable mood. Hundreds of your firemen thousands of civilians
are gone. As much… as quickly as you’re
blowing a match, they’re gone. Flip a switch, they’re gone.
That’s it. Those buildings came down. Gone. l don’t see them. lt’s hard to believe
they’re not there. They’re not there. That was my
first reaction. They’re gone. There is no more
World Trade Center. No. lt did happen, right? lt’s not something
that l’m going to close my eyes and open them again and l’m
going to see the Tower, right? lt’s not there. You know, and the only thing
you have, really and the only thing that really
kept it all together was us as a group, as a body,
as a firehouse. Around midnight we sent Tony up to lower the flag
to half-mast… again. There’s going to be
a lot of pain to deal with in the future. l have a pretty good friend who was in my academy class,
in my squad who is among the missing. A lot of guys, we all lost
friends and family. l don’t want to ever have to put
that thing at half-mast again for the rest of my career. That’s it. Till the recall ends I
it’s 24 on, 24 off
24 on, 24 off. We got word that we’d start
digging in the morning. Some of the guys with wives
and kids went home just for a few hours. They knew it might be days before they’d see
their families again. My son was sleeping. l picked him up
and l put him in my bed and l wanted him…
l wanted him to be with me. Normally, l would take him
out of my bed and put him in his own bed
but this night was the opposite. He didn’t mind that. He-He actually had
a big smile on his face. lt was wonderful
to see that smile again. Probably the best-best entrance
l ever made to a place. And the kids came out and we just kind of all cried
in one big hug and, uh… it was, uh… and we just… we just cried. All right, l got two, there. We need a couple more guys
out here. We’ll set up a little line. Yeah, you can
climb up there. Came back to the firehouse
the next day. l couldn’t wait
to get back, actually ’cause l wanted
to get down there. l figured, Well, we’re going
to have plenty of people to… that are going to be trapped,
for sure. We’re gonna get them out. We have to. We always do. l don’t know if anyone’s really
pulled themselves together. Focus on what
you’re doing today. There will be time enough
in a couple of weeks to really take in
what happened to our guys but today you must focus
on what you’re doing. Go in teams of two. lf one guy falls
through a hole you’re going to have a guy there that knows
you fell in that hole. We’re all alive. That’s more than we could have
possibly hoped for. So our job now is to go and do
whatever needs to be done and to do it as much
and as hard as we can for as long as they’ll let us. Some of the guys
took a city bus down to what the media was
already calling Ground Zero. Hey, guys, got extra
surgical gloves. You guys need to put them
in your pockets. Some firemen called it
the pile. For us, it was still the Trade
Center, even if it was gone. Hey, guys,
if you hear three horns it means something
might be coming down. So keep your eyes open when you’re walking around
down there. And l just realized something
that l always wanted to deny: is how evil… evil can be. We need five firefighters
from 19 and 12. We went down there
and formed up companies– five men and an officer… Go! Let’s go! We went to work right away,
trying to look for survivors. Try and get some buckets
back here! Buckets! Guys were digging fast,
passing those buckets quick… …digging frantically. Buckets! Buckets! Hey, watch your back, guys. We’d be digging and all of a sudden,
everybody would say, Quiet. And the whole place would get
quiet and people would look. Hello! And then slowly
they would go back to work and… and start again. And that was… that’s
how things went down there. l remember the first time l went there,
it was like, Whew! You know, gateway to hell. You’d never know
unless you were there but the pile itself seemed
to have a life of its own. lt moved and shifted
underneath us. Every step you took… …you could fall 30 or 40 feet
into a void. lt spewed fire
when we dug into it and had buried
thousands of people beyond our reach. All’s we saw was steel and l didn’t know how we were
going to get below that. Like, How are we going
to find anybody in this? You know,
and you get up on this pile and you… and you’re digging
with a shovel or you’re digging with a pickax
or something like that it’s… your attempts
seem futile and, um… you know, it was like
a drop in the bucket. But you believed in your heart
there was somebody down there and if could’ve found one person you know,
that-that was well worth it. Water! Need more water! Whatever risk you were
putting yourself at just to find anybody,
that’s what drives the guys. Let’s get some
buckets back here. We’d clear what we could
by hand. Then the iron workers
would come in cut the steel beams,
and lift them out. Then we’d just…
start digging again. You have two 1 10-story
office buildings. You don’t find a desk. You don’t find a chair. You don’t find a telephone,
a computer. The biggest piece of a telephone
l found was half of the keypad,
and it was about this big. The building collapsed to dust. How are we supposed
to find anybody in this? There’s nothing left
of the building. Bucket! You find a little spot
and you just keep going and digging and digging,
and trying to find something. You find a foot
and then they say: The building’s going
to collapse, and you run away. Go! Go! Go! Don’t stop, just go! Okay, okay. And then we would go back and… mostly just dug. We found… we found a body. lt was a girl. She was dead. She was…
she was definitely dead. All her clothes
had been burned off her. She looked to be pregnant. Some people thought maybe
she was just bloated but l don’t think so. She was…
she was encased in rubble. And we had her
about halfway uncovered and getting the body bag ready and then they told us to run… and we ran. So l never got to see
if they got her out. lt would’ve felt good
getting… saying, All right, at least
l got one person out. One family will be able
to have a decent funeral. Quiet!
Quiet! Our first shift was 24 hours and in all that time there was one person
pulled out alive– one. lt was beyond discouraging. lt was even hard to understand. lt was weird, in a way,
walking back to the firehouse. USA! USA! People were cheering us… USA! USA! Thank you! …but we sure didn’t feel
like heroes. Every day, total strangers
were showing up with supplies. Somebody said that you could still
use towels. Yes, we could. So, that’s the end of the towels. Thank you very much. Okay. All
right. They open up the doors and,
Io and behold deliveries were coming…
by the ton. Kitchen. Why don’t you just go
right around the corner? Just dump ’em
on the floor. You can’t eat all the cookies
they’re giving you. l know it’s early
in the operation, here but l just want
to thank everyone for all the hard work
that they’ve been doing. How we’re here, only God knows but… again, guys,
thank you so much. l really… you have no idea how much love
l have for you guys. Check the lockers, bro–
all the lockers– take whatever. There’s something special,
you know when guys are relentless… …and just going
back and forth. Guys with nails in their hand,
taping it up… gashes, blood everywhere just taping it up and saying,
Let’s go back. Let’s see what we can do to make this situation
a little better. There’s got to be people
down there still alive. There has to be. Listen, we tried
to keep hope… …and we’d look everywhere. We even crawled down
into the stores and the subway tunnels
underneath the site… …but as days turned
into weeks we began to accept… …there just wasn’t anybody
to find… …but we never
stopped looking. Hey, Chief. Yes, sir! We got another
body over here. Firemen deal with ugly things
every day– it’s part of the job… but this was worse. You have that body bag? Day after day, it pushed guys
to their limit– maybe past it. A lot of guys don’t know if they’re going
to do the job anymore. l know it’s either this
or the army now and l like saving lives. l don’t like taking them. But after what l saw if they… if my country
decides to send me… to go kill… l’ll do it now. Every night around dinnertime the fire department
would put out a list of firefighters confirmed dead and every night,
that list got longer. lt is with regret that the department announces the deaths
of the following members: Battalion Chief
John P. Williamson Firefighter William Henry Firefighter Eric T. Allen Firefighter Manuel Mojica Firefighter
Lawrence J. Bajillio Firefighter Timothy Haskell Firefighter Thomas T. Annisted Firefighter John A. Sentore Firefighter Shawn… We lost so many people,
that everybody has lost dear friends, and not just
one or two, but-but dozens. Most days there was a memorial
service for some guy you knew some days two or three,
some days four. One of those services
was for Kevin Pfeifer the chief’s brother. He was last seen
in the stairs of Tower One directing guys to the fastest
way out of the building. l would say
that Chief Pfeifer’s brother saved my life. Saved a lot of lives. And l remember walking
down West Street and just remembering saying,
uh… you know how much my brother and l
used to love being downtown and, uh… and doing this job and, um… and, um… and how now
l didn’t love it anymore. Some of the guys hiked
up the stairs in a building near the site… …but not to put out a fire
or rescue civilians. One! Two! Three! They made the climb…
to lift our spirits. lt’s like our moment in time,
our disaster to handle. Every generation’s gone
through it. Some struggle
more than others… …but we just have to try
to take it for what it’s worth and-and go on. And you see, little by little,
life… starting to go on. A few weeks passed
and we got new rigs. Well, used rigs to replace Engine Seven
and Ladder One. They’re still buried in there
somewhere, under the pile. Eventually, we started
going on runs again… lt feels good,
don’t it? …playing pranks again and trying our best
to love the job again… …but things will never be
the way they were. Every now and then
l still wonder is it, is it really true,
you know? l know it happened, but… l don’t know– how do you deal
with something like this? lt’s the 1 1th every day
for me when l wake up. So did you want
the new tape? As for Jules and Gedeon it’s strange
how things work out. ln the beginning
they came to me and they said Let’s make a documentary
about a boy becoming a man during his nine-month
probationary period. lt turns out Tony became a man
in about nine hours trying to help out on 9l1 1 . You know
how you could tell that? He’s not bragging about it. lt said to fill. We were the only ones
on the ticket but it said to fill 10-75. Do l feel like it’s given me
more of a sense of self-worth? Yes. Has it made me a man? Uh… What’s a man? You know,
l’ll still watch cartoons and do my stupid things. l’m just a person
who tries to do good just like every other person
in the fire department. For the fire department,
now it’s about rebuilding… somehow. At our firehouse, we’ve already
got new probies to break in… You get one chance
to make a first impression. …two guys fresh
out of the Academy. lt’s strange to think they’ll
never know what it was like to be a New York City fireman
before September 1 1 … …and they’ll never
really understand what we lost that day. All we can do is
tell them the stories and show them the tape. The valley is hushed And the flowers
are all dying The meadow here is white With the winter snow Lone, as l stand ln the place
where Danny’s lying l say a silent prayer Somehow l know He hears me there So soft l tread
above him So now he sleeps in peace He hears Danny’s voice No more Oh, Danny boy, the pipes,
the pipes are calling From glen to glen
and down the mountainside The summer’s gone,
and all the flowers are dying ‘Tis you, ’tis you must go
and l must bide But come ye back
when summer’s in the meadow Or when the valley’s
hushed and white with snow ‘Tis l’ll be here
in sunshine or in shadow Oh, Danny boy, oh, Danny boy,
l love you so And when you come,
and all the flowers are dying And l am dead,
as dead l well may be You’ll come and find
the place where l am lying And kneel and say
an Ave there for me And l will hear, though
soft you tread above me And on my grave
will warmer, sweeter be For you will bend
and tell me that you love me And l shall sleep in peace Until you come to me.

  • America is never the same because of our fellow Americans dying on this fateful day. I want them back and the Towers…wishful thinking.

  • They always say that a body explodes just like a water melon. Trust me it does. I saw a man thrown out of moving vehicle at 80 miles a hour in Houston. And hit by a semi truck. It was just a huge pile of bloody guts.

  • 35:21 The Chief with the air pack and the flashlight on his helmet is Battalion 7 Chief Orio Palmer. After being caught on camera here he went over to the South Tower where he repaired a radio repeater and an elevator. He and multiple other firefighters took the elevator to the 41st floor and started climbing. Palmer was also a marathon runner and climbed all the way to at least the 78th floor, along with fire Marshal Ronald Bucca who started climbing the stairs moments after the South Tower was hit. At 48:13 he can be herd saying over the radio that he is in the stairway A of the South Tower. The radio transcripts are available here God Bless the families of all who died that horrendous day.

  • I am speechless. This is the most unbelievable documentary I have seen to date. The true grit, the finest of the fine, the heroes that little boys want to grow up and be are in this film. No one should have to see what I am certain all these men saw on that day and for weeks after. I can't comprehend their strength and perseverance. I will pray for each one of them from this day forward. It's the least I can do.

  • #WhereDidTheTowersGo #DrJudyWood #JudyWood

    This makes it too easy for conspiracy theories. Suspicious "gas smell" in Manhattan only to be gone when they got there LOL please stop insulting my critical thinking, we are not all idiot. The so-called "Truthers" are even worse. I can agree with people who genuinely have had enough of Government junk science and, I do commend some Truthers for at least engaging the sheep society we live in.

    It is a debate as to who is the biggest piece of shit spreading misinformation and straight JUNK Science. Is it NIST or Architects for 9/11 with thermite…?


  • Explosions in the lobby when a plane seems to hit the 80th floor? Makes absolutely no sense. Everyone was duped. Wake up and fight back .

  • Its very suspicious that anyone caught the first plane hitting the WTC . Wake the hell up , only if you knew in advance. The second plane, different story. We already heard the Crash of WTC 1 . Now we were ready to see anything. I hope someone has a clue to what l said.

  • I've ALWAYS had a interest in 9/11… I think about it a lot. That day the airports failed us GREATLY! RIP to all those who lost their life. What's up with the explosive devices. I've seen a lot of 9/11 video's never seen nothing about explosives. Where were these explosive bombs at?

  • I was a sophomore in high school and I happen to be absent that day from school. My mom called me and told me that "America was under attack" and not to leave the house.

  • this is something that will haunt me forever and something i will never forget, i have this doc on dvd and ive watched it many times and i still have not got through it without crying, when i watch it its hard to believe it was 18 years ago

  • 1:15:44 This aint fucking Disneyland, made me laugh hahaha, i bet that fbi agent wouldnt say that in this day of age… 🤣

  • 1:23:02 even the firemens say it was detonated…. and they experienceded first hand, now do people still beliece the originan story?

  • The worst day in history. 3 towers collapse and they say it was from office 🔥. Yeah right this was the most sinister day ever and we may never know what truly happened.

  • this was the deadliest day of our history & the most horrifying day that could happen & the same people
    you see in this are the VERY 1's among 1000's of others on that day that have been dying from all the
    dust & inhaling all the stuff in the air for weeks & STILL dying from it to this very day 9-11 NEVER 4-get.

  • Swear I was the only one who thought tony wasn’t gonna make it the whole documentary. Literally cried when he showed up

  • Wow thank you for posting this. A very important moment in history. If you haven’t already seen it I recommend checking out professor Judy wood where did the towers go? Something everyone should see. X

  • Back here.
    After listening to one of best speeches i've heard in a long time. Jon Stewart to congress.
    9/11 fund extended to 2090. This shouldn't have even been an issue but I guess congress has a very short memory of who the heros were and what they did.
    Never forget the heroes of 9/11.❤

  • The collapse happened because of burning jet fuel that made the steel weak jet fuel burn at over 2500 degrees so it was not tnt

  • this sentence: "and the sound…was so loud" 39:38…it kills me everytime i see this documentary. you know that at this moment, a beloved mother, father, daughter, son, sister, brother, aunt, uncle is gone forever…a life has ended…
    got goosebumps every time. with every horrible sound, you know it…

  • Best 9/11 video ever. I bought it on vhs after it came out from Media Play. In Orchard Park NY. Lol badass video.

  • Time Stamps:
    AA 11 Hits North Tower: 24:48
    UA 175 Hits South Tower: 33:55
    South Tower Collapse: 50:55
    North Tower Collapse: 1:08:30

  • At around 1hr. 15min. the 2 men dressed as plainclothes NYPD, who stop the cameraman; strangely appear with clean clothes out of the blue. Considering there is still heavy particulate in the air, at that point there appears to be more interest by them to clear any photography/filming from taking place. Almost like they're checking the area for any 'post collapse' evidence prematurely.


  • Do you really think they came all the way from france to do a documentary film about rookie firefighter in new york? 😂

  • Im from the Netherlands and ill take this day whit me to my grave. (I was 18 years old) Onbelievable what i see on TV on that moment. Full of disbelieve…it looked like a movie from Hollywood. The whole world stood still….

  • I still get the worst feeling in my stomach every time I hear the sound of the first plane flying over just before it hits its 2019 and I still can't believe it I can even remember sitting in class in 2nd grad and a teacher came into our classroom and I said turn on the news and just as they turned on the TV to the news channel the second plane hit and the room got scary quiet

  • The most powerful documentary ever shot, as it happened. The mentally disturbed believe they were sent, months ahead of time but sometimes you're just at the right place at the right time. Happens everyday. Some of the most mentally unstable people believe FDNY was in on "the cover up".. I can't speak for other professions but there's one profession I know a little bit about and I can guarantee that FDNY would never purposely kill 343 of their own. So to you conspiracy nuts… seek help before it's too late.

  • A very moving documentary on that fateful day . Hard to believe this happened 18 years ago. Never forget Tuesday September 11, 2001 ✨🇺🇸🗽💔💗

  • I found the DVD of this in a Shopko a few years after 9/11. I watch it every year on the anniversary.
    I remember on the 1 Year anniversary of 9/11 them showing this documentary commercial free on CBS.
    It has been the only time the FCC allowed for uncensored profanity on public television (like the F-word).
    Thank you for uploading this so others can watch. The children born after 9/11 need to see this to better understand what happened that day and how it affected our nation.

  • We watch clips of this every year in school on the 11th. I truly believe that ever American needs to see this movie the whole way through from now until the end of time

  • And here we are 2019 and the Democrats want criminals and terrorists to take over this Country just for the electoral majority. What have we become? How did we let this happen? We must reclaim our nation !!! God Bless the families and victims of 9/11/2001 You will never be forgotten!!!!!!!

  • I remember the day of and even the day before this occurred as something personally was going on and this day to me seemed almost as if what happened the day before not that it was my fault but that I felt like it was something involved in some spiritual way. I will never forget the lives lost. I do not think of all these lives as this kind of life from the workers cleaning it to those making money to those children at the day care all of them precious and all of them dear Americans hopefully America will never forget.

  • 18 years later… i will never be able to forget this. The moment my mom picked me up from my friends house on this nice sunny and fairly warm day and told me that there are "some towers burning in New York". No one knew that this day would change the world forever. I feel bad for the people who didnt see the world pre 9/11 when people were actually excited about the future instead of seeing it as a dark dystopian nightmare.

  • i have the same dvd and i got it at NYC, it was an unforgettable experience to be where the towers stood and see the memorial of those who died on that tragic day

  • Every American should watch this once…this is not a movie… it's real..shows the human my opinion at it's best.

  • Antonio Benetatos (the probie) is now a Lieutenant with the New York Fire Department. The responsibility has now fallen to him to protect the lives of the men who now serve under him. Chief Joseph Pfeifer retired in 2016… at the time of his retirement (at age 62), he was still capable of scaling 30 stories and then repelling down a rope, which he proved at the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, during an exercise with a French hostage rescue team. Chief Pfeifer can briefly be seen giving his brother, Kevin orders in this documentary, shortly before Kevin led his men up into the North Tower. Kevin Pfeifer, a Lieutenant with Engine 33, was killed in the collapse. Kevin had made it all the way back down to the lobby, with plenty of time to safely egress. But Kevin Pfeifer remained there in order to direct the firemen still coming down out of the stairwell towards the safest way to exit the tower… protecting the lives of the men serving under him. He was a Lieutenant to the last.

  • Thank you for re-uploading this. I never knew of this documentary until a few days ago. Watching this feels so surreal. Never knew what the guys inside the towers were thinking and feeling.
    Not sure whether the guys who made it out safely were fortunate or not, knowing a huge scar was left in them that day.
    And all those loved ones of everyone involved, deceased or not. Extreme damaged had been done. Never forgotten!

  • Third time watching this. Still gets to me…. Makes me so mad at our government (I believe they were at least complacent in 911) and has inspired me to enlist myself as a soldier in the "information wars" going on currently. Thanks Naudet brothers for your work. It is an inspiration.

  • we watched this in class (or something the same but a different source) and i remember the brothers wanted to make a doc about a rookie named tony and they were just cleaning up a gas leak when the first plane hit

    Remembering 9-11
      This morning 18 years ago, millions of Americans woke up and started this day as usual, with no thought that their lives were about to change forever! Hundreds boarded flights and did not live to reach their destination! Thousands ate breakfast with their beloved ones for the last time! Many woke their children, go them ready for school, kiss them goodbye and never saw them again! We never know what a new day has in store for us! Live each day for the fullest and never miss any of those closest to you! If you have someone in your life who you love, tell them, show them and cherish every moment with them!

  • I was 16 when this aired on tv in 2002… That was the only time I had ever seen it in all these years… and it still haunts me. Especially the sounds of the people crashing down after falling/jumping. I'm not sure why this stuck with me so much after only seeing it the one time but I'm glad I was able to find it again and really pay more attention to it as an adult. It's amazing to me that its been 18 years already since this terrible day… It still feels recent.

  • Throughout history we’ve seen what people are capable of, good and bad but it is the good that gives me hope for our existence.

  • I will never forget September 11th as if it happened just yesterday. This documentary does Justice to the memories of the people who fell on that day or the civilians are First Responders fireman or police officers they all sacrifice themselves for each other that's the one thing I learned about my country has that one hardship really hits Americans come together. 911 should never be forgotten because of it senseless brutality but the real reason it should never be forgotten it's because of the grace and gentleness but the real reason it should never be forgotten it's because of the grace and gentleness are these men and women who gave their lives

  • I love the spirit of NYC. Truly amazing the people of that wonderful city. They have a very similar spirit to the people of London.

  • People might not believe in God, and that is their prerogative. But I believe God put those two Frenchmen with that ladder company for a reason. That reason was to tell this story the way it needed to be told and to honor those brave heroes that were lost trying to save lives that tragic day. They could’ve made this movie in any firehouse in Anytown, USA and when most people think of firefighting it is Chicago that before that day was the most famous. I truly believe HE put them there in that firehouse on that day, a day when that firehouse was among the very few in NYC to have all their men escape alive, because this story was meant to be told that even in the midst of an evil that comes from the fiery pits that Angels are among us and they don’t always have Halos and Wings sometimes they wear helmets with “FD” on them, boots, and waterproof jackets.

    Sad to see how divided America has become. That day no one cared if you voted for Bush or Gore, rooted for the Yankees or Red Sox, were Catholic or Protestant or Jewish or even didn’t believe, no one cared if you were rich or poor, white or black, a captain of industry or a guy shoveled manure. That day and time we all hugged our children tighter, hugged our parents for the first time in years, talked to people we hadn’t talked to in decades, and hoped and or Prayed that this wasn’t the start of World War III. That day and time much like when John Kennedy proclaimed that “All free men are citizens of Berlin.” all freedom loving people from the West were all Americans. I still believe somewhere deep down outside of only the most fringe type disgusting filth that hate life people still love their country here in America. We need to follow Abe Lincoln’s quote on his first Inauguration Day to the Confederate States citizens and find “the better angels of our nature” and learn to love each other and love our country. Proud my Father served for decades and in both Korea and Viet Nam and proud he taught me to love this great nation for all of it’s natural beauty and to love my fellow citizens in this melting pot. Because in the long run it doesn’t matter your beliefs what matters is you tried to make your corner of this nation and world a better place.

  • I have seen the actual film as produced by the two brothers. This seems like it is a documentary of the making of the film with clips from their film edited in (which is still good) . This is one of the best documentaries about the subject. I consider the Naudet Brothers actual documentary to be the absolute best film on the 9/11 incident. I have tried to find their film on You Tube but it is not posted. Or was this their actual film ? Seemed different watching it for the second time after a few years.

  • I will never forget that day. As I was preparing myself to go to the dentist I was listening to the radio,and that is when the first tower was hit. I knew right then and there that we were under attack. I was telling my niece that they were terrorists among us. I turn on the tv when the second tower was hit and I looked at my niece and said,they want us dead and dam if they wasnt succeeding. I then broke down and cried as i watched this tragedy unfold. They was saying that the federal buildings was next to be hit,where at I didn't know but where I live they shut it down and my dentist was like 3 to 4 blocks away. I just stayed home glued to the television and cried my poor little eyes out. Every year I watch all kinds of videos about this day and I still cry because it's sad. Oh yeah,where I was living at that time was right across the highway from Newark Airport and you can see the planes when they were taking off and when they landed. To all the families who've lost a love one,God bless. Rest in Paradise to all the fire fighters and to the people who perished. God bless America.

  • Just to think, that Jules was only just learning to take video and use the camera, but yet, captured a piece of footage of that first plane that is now embedded in the minds of all of us… I have watched this documentary numerous times and every time I take something out of it that makes me a better person… Thank you to the brothers that remained together in the end and created footage that will forever be memorialized.

  • R.I.P. Everyone, All that worked in those towler's and all that went to help get everyone out. Crazy how people new this was going to happen but didn't pass it on to the airline's. It could have been stopped before it started. Absolutely disgusting…

  • at 35:04 you can hear the one chief say "Orio", I believe that was firefighter Orio Palmer, one of only 2 firefighters to reach the devastated 78th floor skylobby in the South Tower before it collapsed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *