By Christopher Bollyn
American Free Press
The fact that a Spanish skyscraper is still standing after
fire consumed the steel and concrete tower for 24 hours provides real
world evidence that fire alone does not cause high-rise towers to
As an intense fire consumed the 32-story Windsor Building in Madrid's
business district, the press reports all began with the words "fear
of collapse." After 24 hours, however, the tower, which was a similar
construction to the twin towers of the World Trade Center, remained
The fact that an extremely severe fire did not cause the Spanish
steel and concrete tower to collapse raises serious questions about
the events of 9/11 and how they have been explained. Why did the
Windsor Building remain standing when similar towers in New York City
collapsed completely after being affected by much less intense fires
burning for considerably shorter periods of time?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sponsored engineers to
conduct the World Trade Center Building Performance Study (BPS) to
examine how the buildings of the WTC responded to the airplane
crashes and fires that allegedly caused the collapses of the twin
towers and WTC 7, a 47-story office building on the next block.
"Prior to September 11, 2001, there was little, if any, record of
fire-induced collapse of large fire-protected steel buildings," the
BPS says in the chapter about the mysterious collapse of WTC 7, the
third tower to collapse on 9/11. WTC 7 was not hit by aircraft or
large pieces of debris and had only sporadic fires. At about 5:25
p.m., WTC 7, owned by Larry Silverstein, collapsed in what appeared
to be a controlled demolition.
It would be more accurate to say that no steel framed high-rise, like
WTC 7, has ever collapsed due to fire. The fact that the Windsor
Building is still standing is proof that fire alone does not cause
properly constructed steel and concrete towers to collapse.
Dr. W. Gene Corley, Senior Vice President of Construction Technology
Laboratories (CTL) of Skokie, Ill., was team leader of the engineers
who wrote the BPS.
CTL is a subsidiary of the Portland Cement Association and "provides
structural and architectural engineering, testing, and materials
technology services throughout the U.S. and internationally."
According to its website, "CTL’s expertise extends beyond cement and
concrete, encompassing virtually all structural systems and
WACO, OKLAHOMA CITY, AND WTC
Corley served as expert adviser during the government's investigation
of the 1993 fatal fire at the Branch Davidian complex in Waco, Texas.
In 1995, Corley led a Building Performance Assessment Team (BPAT)
investigation of the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in
Oklahoma City. In September 2001, once again, Corley was selected to
head the team to study building performance after the attack on New
York’s World Trade Center.
In the executive summary of the WTC study, Corley wrote that
secondary fires caused the twin towers to collapse:
"The heat produced by this burning jet fuel does not by itself appear
to have been sufficient to initiate the structural collapses.
However, as the burning jet fuel spread across several floors of the
buildings, it ignited much of the buildings' contents, causing
simultaneous fires across several floors of both buildings," Corley
wrote. "Over a period of many minutes, this heat induced additional
stresses into the damaged structural frames while simultaneously
softening and weakening these frames. This additional loading and the
resulting damage were sufficient to induce the collapse of both
In the section that deals with the collapse of the twin towers, the
BPS says: "Because the aircraft impacts into the two buildings are
not believed to have been sufficient to cause collapse without the
ensuing fires, the obvious question is whether the fires alone,
without the damage from the aircraft impact, would have been
sufficient to cause such a collapse…it is impossible, without
extensive modeling and other analysis, to make a credible prediction
of how the buildings would have responded to an extremely severe fire
in a situation where there was no prior structural damage."
The Windsor Building fire in Madrid provides an excellent real-world
model to show how the twin towers should have responded to "an
extremely severe fire" alone. The Windsor Building has central
support columns in its core section, which is similar to the
construction of the twin towers. This central core is what supported
the gravity load of the towers.
In the Windsor Building fire, the fire is thought to have started on
the 21st floor late on Saturday night, Feb. 12. The upper floors were
consumed by intense fire for at least 18 hours. The fire moved down
the building and burned the entire structure. The fire is reported to
have burned temperatures of at 800 degrees Celsius, or nearly 1,500
There was a partial collapse of parts of the top 10 floors as the
trusses, which went from the core columns to the outside walls,
appear to have failed. It is important to note, however, that the
lower floors did not collapse and the core section is still standing
with a construction crane on the roof.
The complete failure of the 47-central support columns in the twin
towers of the WTC is one of the key outstanding questions about what
caused their collapses. It would be expected that they should have
remained standing even if some of the floor trusses failed. There is
no explanation for what caused the huge box columns to fail.
Two of the contractors who removed the rubble told AFP that they had
found molten steel in the 7th basement level when they reached the
bedrock where the columns were based. There is no explanation for
what caused such intense residual heat to be found at the base of the
twin towers, although some experts have pointed to powerful
By press time, Dr. Corley had not responded to questions about the
BPS findings and the questions raised by the Windsor Building fire.
Corley's assistant told AFP that he had just gone to the airport and
would not be returning to the office until Feb. 28.
The Windsor Building was built from 1973-1979 in an area of Madrid
where commercial property was developed on land owned by Rio Tinto,
the international mining giant. This is thought to be the reason why
the Windsor Building carries the name of the British royal family.
The WTC towers were completed in the early 1970's.
The Windsor Building housed the offices of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu,
a multinational financial services company, which occupied 20 floors
of the tower.
The area where the Windsor Building stands is a mixed residential and
commercial area known as the AZCA zone. Dubbed 'Madrid's Manhattan',
AZCA contains a cluster of modern skyscrapers. The tallest one is the
Torre Picasso, a 516-foot tower built in 1989. The Picasso Tower was
designed by Minoru Yamasaki, who also designed the twin towers of the
WTC. Unión de Explosivos Río Tinto, S.A., owns the land where the
The Windsor Building (Edificio Windsor) in Madrid, Spain burned "like
a torch" for more than 18 hours from Saturday night, Feb. 12. After
burning in an uncontrolled inferno the tower's core columns remain
standing with a huge construction crane on top of the roof. This
evidence supports the fact that prior to 9/11 NO steel-framed high-
rise had ever collapsed due to fire. On 9/11 the 47-story WTC 7,
owned by Larry Silverstein, collapsed at 5:25 p.m. There is no
explanation for why the WTC 7 collapsed except for the fact that
Silverstein told PBS that the decision was made to "pull it" and "we
watched it come down."