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Firefight: Inside the Battle to Save the Pentagon on 9/11 Hardcover – May 27, 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–A well-paced, well-written account of a successful battle. It was fought by numerous civilian firefighting companies from the Washington, DC, area, especially those from Arlington County, where the Pentagon sits. The response by firefighters from the Virginia and Maryland suburbs, the District, and also from nearby Reagan National Airport was admirably rapid and the dangers to them were immense; the relatively small loss of life in the Pentagon is a tribute to their courage and skills. Hundreds of workers–civilian and military–risked their lives and certainly harmed themselves by breathing toxic fumes laced with petroleum and building dust to save coworkers, and readers will learn of the many people deserving recognition. What many who are familiar with the 9/11 attacks do not know is that those gathered to save the Pentagon, normally occupied by 25,000 people, were warned that another commercial airliner was potentially inbound, perhaps to finish the job. This saga is much less well known than the story of the New York City Fire Department responding to the attacks on the World Trade Center. Teens will be enlightened and inspired by this valuable book.–Alan Gropman, National Defense University, Washington, DC
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Advance praise for Firefight

“Firefight is a gripping human drama and a powerful story–not to mention a significant addition to the annals of American history.”
–David Morrell, author of First Blood

“Overshadowed by the calamity in New York, the attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, was nonetheless a day of extraordinary drama, heroism, and tragedy. With riveting detail and a compelling narrative, Patrick Creed and Rick Newman have done a superb job in Firefight of capturing the courage, chaos, and sacrifice of that remarkable day.”
–Steve Vogel, author of The Pentagon: A History

A gripping inside look at the swift actions taken by a small group of firefighters who saved the Pentagon from destruction.”
–Bing West, author of No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah

“Firefight presents a different view of September 11, getting into the actions and mindsets of both the firefighters and the military in Washington D.C. A powerful read.”
–Richard Picciotto, co-author of Last Man Down: A New York City Fire Chief and the Collapse of the World Trade Center

“Firefight does an excellent job of showing the unique issues presented when the heart of America’s military was attacked on September 11, 2001. As I read this book, I felt a brotherhood with the courageous professionals at the scene of the Pentagon and their need to ameliorate the suffering of others.”
–Lt. William Keegan, Jr., PAPD., author of Closure: The Untold Story of the Ground Zero Recovery Mission

“This little-known but equally horrifying story of 9/11 will raise the hair on your neck and add to the historical outrage inspired by these senseless murders. The firefighters are seen in grit and in heroism as they fight their way through the Pentagon flames to contain the fires, triage the wounded, interrelate with the FBI, and search for the all-important black boxes. Read this book to remind yourself just how shocked you were that day.”
–Dennis Smith, chairman of First Responders Financial and author of Report from Ground Zero
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Presidio Press; 1 edition (May 27, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891419055
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891419051
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"THE NOSE OF THE PLANE HIT THE FACADE JUST BELOW THE TOP OF THE FIRST STORY, ABOUT 14 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND, GOING 530 MILES PER HOUR. A DEAFENING BOOM SHOOK THE MORNING AS A VIOLENT CONCUSSION TORE THROUGH THE AIR, JARRING BYSTANDERS. THE COLLISION PRODUCED A FORCE ON THE PASSENGERS FAR GREATER THAN THAT FROM ANY HIGH-SPEED CAR CRASH. PEOPLE BECAME PROJECTILES. BONE SEPARATED FROM FLESH. BODY PARTS FLEW AS IF FIRED FROM A CANNON."

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September 11, 2001 the day America was violently and savagely attacked by terrorists on its own soil in the Continental United States. A preponderance of all the publicity that has followed the multiple attacks has been directed toward the World Trade Centers. After all, that was the first attack and had many more casualties, and the Pentagon which manages our worldwide military forces, has uncounted security issues, which by all common sense should not have as free access by the outside world. And that's what makes this book by author's Patrick Creed and Rick Newman even more remarkable in its detail and scope.

When the Pentagon's design was unveiled in 1941, "its size and secrecy had made it one of the most intriguing buildings in the world. The structure was notoriously huge - its SIX MILLION SQUARE FEET of office space was three times larger than the Empire State Building." After the crash of Flight 77, fire crews were alerted from all over the Washington area, and as they all headed to the Pentagon, many of the men and women involved weren't even aware of what had transpired at the World Trade Centers. From this point out is where this story will add another dimension to every American's memory of this historical day of terrorist evil.
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Format: Hardcover
Creed and Newman have done an excellent job of researching and writing about the fight to save the Pentagon. The depth of research via fact finding and interviews make this a great read. If you want the truth of the emergency response to the Pentagon on 9/11, FIREFIGHT is the book for you. It provides an inside-the-fence view of the enormous effort and heroic actions of the first responders. It describes in great accuracy the struggle of military personnel, firefighters, and law enforcement officers to save lives and protect our military's most important facility.

I spent 11 days/nights at the Pentagon as an emergency responder. I walked the lawn near the Pentagon helipad tower, stepping on air plane parts with every movement. It was impossible not to. The ground was covered with them. I witnessed the raging fire and structural collapse of the building, as well as the evolution of Camp Unity, and the transition of command from Arlington County Fire Department to the FBI. I had a front row seat to many of the events described in this book. My friends, professional acquaintances, and those I met are in this book. Some are mentioned by name but many more are identified by the hard fought successes of those days. They are the heroes.

FIREFIGHT takes you into the hearts and minds of those in the battle. The authors introduce you to average people who did extraordinary things. Creed and Newman don't glamorize or exaggerate the facts. They simply share them with you from the perspective of those who were there.

When a Boeing 757 plowed into the Pentagon, men and woman raced into the fire to rescue the perishing. FIREFIGHT takes you into the blazing inferno immediately following the impact.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a part of the 9/11 tragedy that most of us know very little about. In scope it was overshadowed by the events in New York. But in terms of it's near strategic impact the story is absolutely terrifying, even more than a decade later. Whether by design or shear luck the terrorist terrorist came perilously close to decapitating our military command structure. I think at the time most of us would have assumed it would take a nuclear missile to do that. Thinking back on what we lived through then, I think we are perhaps fortunate that our attention was focused on New York and not the Pentagon.

That day, and the days immediately following were filled with chaos, confusion, misinformation, and misdirection. The authors do a very good job of taking you through that in a very readable way, without imposing logic or structure on a story that has none. The story is not spoiled because we already know the ending.

The sense of disorientation I experienced as a reader would normally frustrate me. Where is this taking place in the building? Who is this character? How did he get here? Why is this happening? You still realize that is exactly the message the author wants you to get. You stop looking at the diagram of the building trying to figure out where the story is happening. It doesn't matter anymore; the walls are gone. And that is exactly what the firefighters, military personnel, and civilians were all experiencing that day.

This is a story well worth reading for it is about a battle won not by heroes, or stars, or gallant leaders, but by an awful lot of people trying very, very hard to work together.
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