Fires in the 47-story office tower at the edge of the World Trade Center site undermined floor beams and critical structural columns, federal investigators concluded Thursday, as they attempted to curb still-rampant speculation that explosives or fuel fires were responsible for the building’s collapse of Sept. 11, 2001.
The long-delayed report by engineers here at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in suburban Washington is intended to solve one of still lingering central questions about the 2001 attacks: Why did 7 World Trade Center fall, if it was not hit by an airplane.
“Heating of floor beams and girders caused a critical support column to fail,” said Shyam Sunder, the lead investigator. “Video and photographic evidence combined with detailed computer simulations show that neither explosives nor fuel oils played a role in the collapse that brought the building down.”
Fire, as pretty much any firefighter will tell you, is considered by those in the fire service to be a living entity. It consumes, and when fed, it grows; it is created, and it dies. The more it consumes, the larger it becomes, the larger it becomes, the hotter and faster it burns, affecting even the materials in it's path that it can not consume.
To say that there is any substance that can't be consumed, ultimately, by fire, is a misconception. The very earth that the iron and other metals that are used in making steel are the result of the life cycle of the planet: the earth's core is not a solid mass, but a molten, churning mixture of elements that are constantly being consumed and reintroduced into the upper levels of the interior of the planet. Everything that exists on planet earth was initially forged by the fires of the core of the planet. Metals are purified, shaped, and formed of fire, as it requires heat make solid construction grade metal malleable for working. And, regardless of Ms. O'Donald's uninformed opinion as expressed some time back on The View, steel girders can be heated to the point at which they will fail.
Perhaps if the water main had not been broken and the fire suppression system had been able to work in 7 World Trade Center, the building would not have collapsed some seven hours after the collapse of the twin towers. At this point, that can only be a matter of speculation. The fact is, however, after years of research and study into the cause of it's collapse, the determination has been made, and the official report has been filed. All that remains now is for the conspiracy theorists to once again begin tossing wild theories and explanations.
For my 343 brothers and sisters who gave all. May God give you rest.
Once and Always, an American Fighting Man