Excerpt of interview with John Schroeder
From Loose Change Blog:
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Firefighter John Schroeder, assigned to Engine Company 10 directly across the street from the World Trade Center complex, holds back tears and describes his first-hand experience on Sept. 11th. His story directly contradicts many aspects of the National Commission on Terrorist attacks any corroborates many other eyewitnesses testimony.
“We first assembled on West Street, where we saw someone burnt beyond recognition. We were like ‘What is going on here?’ and then went straight into the Marriot building” From there, Firefighter Schroeder made his way to the lobby of the North Tower. “It looked like a bomb went off, and we started making our way up the stairs to rescue as many people as we could.”
As they were making there way up the floors, Firefighter Schroeder heard a huge explosion. “The elevators just blew right out. We couldn’t believe it. The plane hits 80 floors up but the elevators explode at least five minutes later? It was unreal.”
Firefighter Schroeder made it all the way up to the 23rd floor before barely hearing on the failing radios that another plane was coming in. That plane would hit the South Tower, though for some reason, “We were tossed like a rag doll by another explosion in our building. People were making there way down the stairwells burnt like you couldn’t believe. We were all shocked because it seemed as if there was fire everywhere, on so many floors. It just didn’t make sense”.
The stairwells were black, and at that point, firefighters were making the decision to head back down stairs. In making there way down to the third floor, they were not able to find an exit. “The lobby was like a war zone. We could not find our way out. Then, all of a sudden, one of the maintenance workers had a key that opened a back door that got us out of there. He saved my life.” That worker was Willie Rodriguez. “I want to thank him from the bottom of my heart."
Firefighter Schroeder today has lost 40% of his lung capacity. “We haven’t been treated properly at all. From the day of the attack, our physical and mental health has deteriorated and it seems as if no one cares. To lose friends, to have to recover their bodies in the days after, to be offered no protections against that horrific-smelling dust that was everywhere even though the government said the air was OK to breathe is just not right.” Some of Firefighter’s Schroeder’s best friends have gotten out of the FDNY altogether while others accepted money and trips to help. “I stayed right here and did the right thing and now it feels as if I’m suffering the most. Where is our government to help the one’s with the toughest jobs on that day and the days after?”