Chief Palmer had reached the fire on the 78th floor of the South Tower, and devised a plan to put it out. He describes "two isolated pockets of fire", and requests two lines (hoses) to knock it down.
If the 78th floor was a “raging inferno” like the government would have us believe, then Palmer wouldn’t have gotten as far as he did, and certainly wouldn't have been able to put it out with two fire hoses.
Loose Change 2nd Edition
The claim is based on recordings of radio messages from FDNY Chief Orio J Palmer, who was climbing the south stairway in WTC2. Here’s the relevant portion: Palmer is “Battalion Seven Chief”:
Battalion Seven Chief: "Battalion Seven to Battalion Seven Alpha."
"Freddie, come on over. Freddie, come on over by us."
Battalion Seven Chief: "Battalion Seven ... Ladder 15, we've got two isolated pockets of fire. We should be able to knock it down with two lines. Radio that, 78th floor numerous 10-45 Code Ones."
Ladder 15: "What stair are you in, Orio?"
Battalion Seven Aide: "Seven Alpha to lobby command post."
Ladder Fifteen: "Fifteen to Battalion Seven."
Battalion Seven Chief: "... Ladder 15."
Ladder 15: "Chief, what stair you in?"
Battalion Seven Chief: "South stairway Adam, South Tower."
Ladder 15: "Floor 78?"
Battalion Seven Chief: "Ten-four, numerous civilians, we gonna need two engines up here."
Ladder 15: "Alright ten-four, we're on our way."
The Memory Hole:Web Archive source
It seems Palmer did only see “two isolated pockets of fire” at this point, although whether there may have been fire elsewhere on the floor isn’t clear. So does this prove the fires were much weaker than claimed? Well, no. Not even close.
NIST do not claim that the 78th floor was a “raging inferno”, for instance. In fact the NIST fire reconstruction report says “there was only light fire activity observed on the 78th floor”, page 109). No surprise: pictures in the same document clearly show this floor was at the base of the fire-affected area..
The report also contains a simulation of temperatures on the various floors. This gives you an idea of how NIST believe floor 78 compared to the other floors in terms of upper layer temperatures at the 45 minute point (close to when Palmer arrived on 78) for scenario D (the worst case for that floor).
See the NIST document for an explanation of this. We see no claim here that Floor 78 was a “raging inferno”, then: that looks like a straw man argument. In reality the “two isolated pockets of fire” comment relates to an area that NIST concede had “only light fire activity”, and tells us nothing whatsoever about what was happening in the floors above.
There are similar deceptive use of quotes elsewhere, too, for example in the case of Brian Clark:
Some defenders of the official story have claimed that the fires were indeed very big, turning the buildings into "towering infernos." But all the evidence counts against this claim, especially with regard to the south tower, which collapsed first. This tower was struck between floors 78 and 84, so that region is where the fire would have been the biggest. And yet Brian Clark, a survivor, said that when he got down to the 80th floor: "You could see through the wall and the cracks and see flames . . . just licking up, not a roaring inferno, just quiet flames licking up and smoke sort of eking through the wall." Likewise, one of the fire chiefs who had reached the 78th floor found only "two isolated pockets of fire."
The 80th floor wasn’t the worst affected by fire, at least later on, as we can see above. But where’s the evidence that he was actually referring to that floor? Here’s Clark’s account as told to the BBC:
BRIAN CLARK: So we started down that stairway and we only went three floors. There was a group of seven of us, myself and six others. We met two people that had come up from the floor 80, a heavy set woman and, by comparison, a rather frail male. She said stop, stop, you've got to go up and she laboured up to join us moving very slowly, she was such a big woman. She said you've got to go, you've got to go up, you can't go down, there's too much smoke and flame below.
NARRATOR: Clark then heard cries for help coming from an office nearby. It was banker Stanley Praimnath. Clark pulled him free and together they carried on down the tower, but their progress was hampered by one of the things that was meant to protect them: the fireproof drywall.
BRIAN CLARK: Drywall had been blown off the wall and was lying on, you know propped up against the railing here and, and we had to move it, shovel it aside. You could see through the wall and the cracks and see flames just, just licking up, not a roaring inferno, just quiet flames licking up and smoke sort of eking through the wall.
He started on floor 84, got to floor 81, heard cries for help and freed Stanley Praimnath. They “carried on down”, then ran into an obstruction, but he doesn’t say on which floor. Fortunately there’s another account that delivers the information we need:
I guess it took me 30 seconds to a minute to get most of the stuff away from the trapped person, until this last thing we couldn't move. That's when I encouraged him to do the jumping. I reached over the top and I looked at him and I said, ``You must jump. You've got to jump out of there.'' He jumped once and I couldn't connect with him. He jumped again and I grabbed him. I pulled him over the top and we fell in a heap and hugged. I said, ``I'm Brian,'' and he said, ``I'm Stanley,'' and we made our way back to the stairs.
They started down:
Some of the firewall, or maybe it had come from ceilings, I don't know, had blown in on the stairs. Sheets were lying, or leaning on angle up against the railing. So we had to move those. Some were lying on the stairs. Water seemed to be dribbling out somewhere, I don't know where, and making the stairs wet. And it was running sometimes on this drywall that was lying flat on the stairs making it like a slide. So we had to be very careful. We were holding onto the railing, hand-over-hand, kind of going down those slippery areas because we were standing on slippery drywall.
Somewhere around the 77th floor, the stairway walls were cracked, and you could look through the cracks and see flames. They were just quietly licking up, not a roaring inferno. And there was some smoke there, but again I think the stairs were pressurized, pushing the air out so we had less smoke in the stairway than you might imagine.
New York Times "Accounts from the South Tower"
“Somewhere around the 77th floor”, which as we’ve seen, is well below the most affected area of the building. The fact that Clark saw no “inferno” there tells us nothing that we didn’t know already.