SEARCH AND RESCUE
Approximately 50 occupants were inside the building
and above the 12th floor when the fire broke out.
These occupants included cleaning and maintenance
workers, the sprinkler fitters, and a few tenants
who were working late in offices. The occupants became
aware of the fire as smoke entered the areas where
they were working.
Five of the occupants from upper floors went to the
rooftop and were rescued by helicopters. Others attempted
to exit via elevators, some successfully and some
unsuccessfully. At least one group found themselves
on the 12th floor and had to crawl to an exit stairway
in dense smoke and heat. Most of the occupants successfully
exited via the stairs and encountered firefighters
coming up the stairs as they descended.
The Fire Department was able to account for all except
three known occupants of the building by comparing
names with the sign-in sheets maintained by security
personnel. Two of these occupants were on the 37th
floor and one was on the 50th floor. Helicopter crews
were able to locate all three at windows.