picture of firefighter in background with text don't let them silence you

Calling OUT Bravo-7 : Firefighters’ Perspectives of High-Rise Fires and 9/11

A Short Film by Firefighters

In honor of the “343,” Firefighters talk about fire physics, building designs and explain why they continue to commit themselves into high-rise fires without fear of sudden and complete building failure.  This new video is about firefighters and the skills they have and the incidents they are trained to respond to.   This video provides up to date coverage of World Trade Center Building 7 research, all the way through the University of Alaska at Fairbank’s professor of Structural Engineering, Leroy Hulsey’s modeling work. It addresses many important topics in a concise manner with no fluff. 

The first minutes of the video show the innumerable incidents that firefighters respond to from vehicle incidents, to gas leaks, to building that are fully engulfed in fire.  From there the video delves into the physics of fires and provides background that firefighters must know and which has gained the respect of the general public.


Former firefighter and founder of Firefighters for 9/11 Truth, Erik Lawyer, with the Protecting All Protectors Alliance, writes, “CALLING OUT BRAVO 7 is an excellent film made by firefighters about the collapse of WTC Building (Bravo) 7 on September 11th. The filmmakers lay a foundation from the spirit of the fire service and the history of high rise fires that speaks to firefighters & laypeople alike. Then using a common sense approach, the film focuses on the collapse of WTC 7 from the perspective of the basics of firefighting, fire investigation & building collapse in a way that is easy to digest & hard to deny.  This documentary is a heart and mind opener.”

Former NYPD police officer and FDNY firefighter Rudy Dent writes: “In regard to this short film, “CALLING OUT BRAVO 7” I am so proud of all who have participated in it and those whose lost lives have made it possible! I have met many of the people in this professionally produced film and am humbled to have been included among such MEN OF HONOR!”

David Chandler recommends this film saying, “this is the best 9/11 video I’ve seen in recent years!”

The Narrator Introduces Us to Firefighting

It may not be obvious but there is one thing that runs through most all fire and rescue incidents – physics. Physics is, of course, all about the nature and properties of all matter and energy. Fire and rescue incidents are almost always related to adding or removing energy from a situation: thermodynamics, gas mixtures, hydraulics, electrics, pressures, flow rates, forces, reactions, levers, lifting, cutting, mechanical advantages and more. You don’t have to be a genius to do the job well, but a particular type of intelligence is very useful – practical intelligence.  Good old fashioned practical commonsense.

Firefighters today have to maintain high levels of competence at many skills to perform many roles.  As our world develops in its technological complexity, firefighter versatility and intelligence is becoming increasingly important.  Recruits today come from all educational backgrounds but it’s not qualifications that matter.

Technological advances are most noticeable when dealing with rescues from road traffic collisions – RTCs as they’re known in the profession.  Today’s vehicles have many hidden dangers such as high voltage components and cables in hybrid designs, undeployed air bags and pressurized fuel systems.

Today, all vehicles are different.  Fire service mobile data technologies are needed at accidents to identify vehicle technology hazards.

Modern training has moved increasingly towards placing more responsibility with the individual firefighter to dynamically risk-assess his environment and actions for both safety and effectiveness.

Any risks that are taken are calculated and in balance with the threats to life and property posed by an incident. In building fires a real understanding of fire physics is needed – together with knowledge of different building types and structures and their varied tolerance to fire stresses.

Firefighters are trained to recognize the signs of partial building failures. Especially with older structures which were not designed to tolerate and contain fire traffic.  A dramatic and potentially lethal example of fire physics in action is “backdraft” which can occur if fresh air is reintroduced into a fire compartment in certain situations. There’s one particular type of incident where this knowledge is of paramount importance. 

picture of a ladder truck fighting a fire

Given their capacity for exponential growth, high rise fires present one of the greatest challenges to firefighting  today.  Due to limited access from outside by ladders and the ease with which occupants and rescuers can become trapped, fires in these structures pose a profound threat to life and property.

High rise buildings are, of course, designed with these considerations in mind.  They’re therefore built to contain fire; protect exit routes; and employ architectural fire protection measures to prevent structure fire damage.  National Fire Service operational procedures provide clear guidance in dealing with these situations and aim to maximize the effectiveness of firefighting and rescue operations whilst minimizing risk.

In agreement with these specific architectural fire resistant qualities, firefighting procedures recommend the deployment of personnel into the building.  Teams advance toward the fire in the building.  Deep into the building if necessary.  A control point is called the bridge head which is established two floors below the fire so the operations can be controlled from an advanced point.

This allows a set of preventative control points so fire fighters going to fight fires, and carry out rescues, can be recorded and crucially have their breathing apparatus checked so it’s clear how much time they can spend in a dangerous smoke filled area.  The amount of time each firefighter can spend fighting the fire is limited by the amount of air available, so any minute spent climbing up into a building with equipment is precious firefighting time wasted.

Firefighters enter these situations confidently for good reasons.  In history there have been many instances where high rise fires have been very advanced and aggressive.  And in agreement with what the building design’s specified, the structures stay true and intact.

According to a 2011 U.S. National Fire Protection Association report, there are on average one hundred and ten high rise fires per year.  In the U.S. alone between 2005 and 2009 there were five hundred fifty high rise fires.  Some of the most notable in history include the Joelma Building, Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1974 – sparked by an electrical fire.  This residential building burned for several hours.  The underlying structure was not weakened and in fact it is still in use today.  The M.G.M. Grand, which is now Bally’s, in Las Vegas caught fire in 1980 killing 85 people.   It’s had a few facelifts and ownership changes but the structure underneath was never compromised.  It’s still in use today.

Los Angeles 1988 – what was then called the First Interstate Bank Building burnt for three and a half hours.  No structural failure at all.  In fact an insurance company moved in and today it’s known as the AON Center.

picture of a high rise on fire

In 2004, the Parque Central, Caracas Venezuela, the country’s tallest building burned for seventeen hours. The fire was put out, repaired and is still in use today.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – One Meridian Plaza in 1991 burned for eighteen hours. It was refurbished. Beijing China – the Mandarin Oriental Hotel burned for six hours in 2009 – it stood.

Chechnya’s tallest building burned for seven hours in April 2013.  It stood.  Dubuai, Moscow, Zurich and many others show the same results.  This is why firefighters continue to commit into these buildings to deal with fires like those seen in September 2001 in New York and recently at Grenfell Towers in London.  The firefighters in New York had absolutely no reason to suspect that those buildings could catastrophic fail due to fire. They knew there was a danger – but absolutely not from complete and sudden building failure.

Firefighters are not mindless fools.  They have families to go home to and provide for.  They will take calculated risks when people’s lives are at risk and there is a strong likelihood of saving lives without a doubt.  But they will not take suicidal risks.

Before looking into one particular high rise fire – which is not commonly known about, and even less well understood.

We need to digress slightly and establish an honest foundation and starting point.

We live in a phenomenally complex modern world.  It’s strange and it’s difficult to fully understand with certainty.  At times it’s bewildering in its complexity.  It’s incredible, but when broken down there are essentially just two main systems 1) organizational systems based upon man made rules and 2) physical systems governed by nature. The man made systems are not so reliable.  But if you were to ask a great physicist, he or she would explain that when you look at the details of the physical systems the rules of the game are quite simple. The mechanical rules which govern the state of play every action – all matter and energy – they all obey a steady stream of fundamental simple rules.  Simple rules of nature which are fixed, immutable and universal. Rules which when recognized provide us with perfect data for measuring testing and for knowing exactly where we stand.

The subject that’s about to be considered has somehow become obscured by stigma.  Over-complicated within the web of complex information, technical arguments and misconceptions.  But this complexity contains within it, its seed of self destruction. 

An irrefutable fact based upon a simple law of nature.

When it’s disturbing us, we can choose to be blown around like a leaf in the wind of mainstream consensus opinion or we can confidently walk the path of evidence based science.  For some, sadly, anything beyond mainstream consensus opinion is out of bounds and beyond debate.  But as Michael Creighton so wisely said: “Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels.  It’s a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled.”  However, science has nothing whatsoever to do with consensus.  Consensus is the business of politics.  Science, on the contrary requires only one investigator who happens to be right.  Which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world.  In science, consensus is irrelevant.  What is relevant are reproducible results.

Science carelessly and honestly follows the data and the evidence wherever they lead.  It seeks no comfortable sanctuary and cuts through all opinion.  Consensus prefers popularity – while science sides with the truth and only the truth.

Making no assumptions we must now quickly and unapologetically provide some very basic high school physics.  The use of the word “free fall” to describe a parachutist is in fact technically wrong.

As you can see these skydivers are experiencing varying degrees of air resistance – which is slowing them down. In Newtonian physics, free fall is defined as any motion of the body where gravity is the only force acting upon it. Under such conditions all objects will fall with the same rate of acceleration regardless of their mass. If we were to lift a bowling ball and some feathers and then drop them together through the air –  the feathers would obviously fall slower because of air resistance.  If we remove that resistance by creating a vacuum, as demonstrated in this huge massive vacuum chamber, the worlds biggest.  Both the ball and the feather fall at the same rate of true free fall.  Free fall is only possible when there is absolutely no resistance.  Zero resistance actually against the fall.

Interviews and Informative Clips

This film then moves into a discussion of the destruction of World Trade Center Building 7 on September 11, 2001 which was one of the three skyscrapers destroyed at the World Trade Center on 9/11.  In the following interviews and video clips, it is explained how free fall acceleration of this structure – a simple law of nature – during its collapse reveals what could – and could not have – caused its destruction.  The following are some of the numerous, cogent authorities who provide insight into fire, firefighting, fire investigation and physics.  Collectively, these experts refute the statements of Shyam Sunder, NIST WTC Lead Investigator, who said, “Our study has identified thermal expansion as a new phenomenon that can cause the collapse of the structure. For the first time we have shown that fire can induce a progressive collapse.”

● Dan Rather, newscaster and observer during 9/11

● Ronald Angle, PE

● Jonathan Smolens, PE

● Richard Gage, AIA Architect

● David Chandler, retired physics teacher

● Peter Michael Ketcham, a former Mathematician at NIST

● Kamal Obeid, C.E., S.E. — Civil and Structural Engineer

● Professor Leon Hulsey, University of Alaska

● Attorney Daniel P. Sheehan, Constitutional and public interest lawyer

● Prof. Niels H. Harrit, Ph.D., Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen

● Eric Lawyer, Firefighters for 9/11 Truth

● Lee Hamilton and Tom Keen, Co-chairman 9/11 Commission

● James Corbett, Corbett Report

● Kevin Ryan, Underwriters Laboratories, whistleblower

● Harold A. Schaitberger serves as Chairman of Executive Board and General President at International Association of Fire Fighters

● Rudy Dent, retired FDNY fireman and Police Officer and Vietnam Veteran

● Dale Pierce, former Firefighter, California Division of Forestry

● Barry Jennings was the Deputy Director of the Emergency Services Department for the New York City Housing Authority and Michael Hess was the New York City Corporation Counsel

● Danny Jowenko , Dutch expert in controlled demolition

● Adrian Mallett [B Eng], 9-year Firefighter, Hertford Fire Service

● Brian Maxwell, 15-year Firefighter, Edinburgh Fire Service

● Graeme MacQueen is the founder of the McMaster’s Centre of Peace Studies in Canada and its War and Health programme

● Jonathan Cole, PE

● Michael Meacher, Former Secretary of Health, Former Secretary of Commerce, British Member of Parliament

● Dorothy Lorig, M.A. Psychologist

● Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian Diplomat and English Professor at the University of California, Berkeley


The film concludes with a collage reminding us all, “Don’t Let Them Silence You.”  The information is compelling and calls for concerned citizens to take action such as outlined by the Truth Action Project Mission Statement.