When did Fort Meyer Fire Department (FMFD) Unit 161, and Metropolitan
Washington Airport Authority (MWAA) Unit 331, arrive at the Pentagon on
September 11, 2001, and why does it matter?
National Airport's aircraft rescue firefighters (ARFF) foam units "knocked
down the bulk of the fire in the first seven minutes after their arrival,"
said Captain Michael Defina (page
removed from Arlington County website),
who was the shift commander that day at Reagan National Airport (National Fire Protection Association Journal, November 1, 2001).
Captain Defina, who had been at the site of a motor vehicle accident, arrived
at the Pentagon "two to three minutes" after he "saw a smoke
plume arise" from the Pentagon.
FMFD Unit 161 at the Pentagon before Flight 77 strike
"Captain Defina drove onto the heliport and directed Foam Unit 331 to set up
there, where Fort Myer Unit 161 had established a hydrant water
supply. The only other firefighting apparatus he saw on the west side was
Arlington County's Engine and Truck 105 on the far north end. Their crews
went into the building to conduct search and rescue."
From the photo and diagram above, it appears that the crew of Engine 161 are
seen entering the Pentagon's heliport side entrance (shown in the diagram at
bottom center). Engine 161 is just left of the entrance. The gap in the
Pentagon wall after the collapse of its roof would be on the right - just off the photo.
After the right wing hit, wouldn't the plane veer right?
Reported path of Flight 77
"While Foam Unit 331 hit the fire with foam from its roof and bumper
turrets, Unit 335's four-person crew used hand lines in an attempt
to control the fires".
MWAA Unit 331 at the Pentagon
Why does this matter?
Let's contruct a timeline of events at the Pentagon, and see if it tells us
Was the "plume of smoke" that Captain Defina saw from the crash of Flight
77, or from the bombs
reported inside the Pentagon at 9:32?
The debris seen in the photo of Unit 161 above, and the "slab deflected upward," are consistent with
an explosion inside the Pentagon.
At the Dept. of Defense NewsBriefing on September 12, 2001, when asked about the
"small pieces of the plane virtually all over, out over the highway, tiny
pieces", Arlington County Fire Department (ACFD) Chief Ed Plaugher
responded, "I'd rather not comment on that." Neither Flight 77 nor Boeing
757 were mentioned during the news briefing.
Why was Plaugher being evasive? Was he trying to hide the presence of ACFD Engine
102 and 107 (seen in the photo below) at the Pentagon?
ACFD Engine 102 and 107 at the Pentagon
Questions about what hit the Pentagon on September 11, continued to be
raised at the Dept. of Defense NewsBriefing on September 15, 2001. Neither Flight 77 nor
Boeing 757 were mentioned during the news briefing.
Captain Dennis Gilroy and his team were already on station at the
Pentagon when Flight #77 slammed into it, just beyond the heliport. Foam
161 caught fire and suffered a flat tire from flying debris.
Firefighters Mark Skipper and Alan Wallace were outside the vehicle at
impact and received burns and lacerations. Recovering from the initial
shock, they began helping victims climb out of the Pentagon's first
floor windows. Captain Gilroy called the Fort Myer Fire Department,
reporting for the first time the actual location of the crash.
What do Captains Defina and Gilroy, and firefighters Mark Skipper
and Alan Wallace know about what happened at the Pentagon?