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I re-entered 200 Liberty’s lobby.  People were still running out to the street.  One man called to us “The roof is on fire, get out.  When we didn’t turn to run, he stopped, looked me right in the eye and calmly but sternly repeated, “I said …. the building is on fire, get out now” as if I didn’t speak English.  “Scott, where do we go now, we’ve got to get back outside?”  “There’s total chaos out there,” he replied. We stepped outside.  “What can we do to help?”, I wondered.  “I wouldn’t know where to begin, there is nothing we can do”, he concluded.


After taking a few minutes to clear our heads, we agreed to get away from the area, to walk to the Hudson River until we were safe; and, we agreed to stick together.   We were on the street, shielded from the full brunt of the Tower’s fury by the curved entry at the front of 200 Liberty.  We walked backward a few steps and looked back for the last time.  “Wait”, pieces of Tower were falling away.  The air handling systems, ducts, plenums, were again being blown out of the Tower like leaves falling from a maple tree.  Some exterior parts fell away next and made dead drops straight down.  The flames heightened and rose to the higher floors.  I watched as tens of thousands of pieces of paperwork blew out on the surges of the wind created by the heat, the fire and the updraft or downdraft, whatever.  The papers burst from the building from 1,000 feet in the air.  Each page could be seen as an individual sheet of paper, not falling downward to the ground, rather they rose and floated off beyond sight flickering like candle flames catching a reflection of brilliant sunlight, rolling back into the smoke and reemerging to catch another incidence of light repeatedly playing in and out of the thick black smoke.    From our vantage point the papers looked like wedding confetti catching a breeze by the dark cathedral doors.



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