‘It Was Time To Get Out’: Escaping The World Trade Center, And Remembering Those Who Didn’t

Stuart Crawford Hult stands at Fire Department Rescue Company 1 in New York City, next door to the apartment where he lived on Sept. 11, 2001. Every firefighter on shift when he walked past that morning, on his way to work, perished that day. (Courtesy)

My name is Stuart Crawford Hult. On Sept. 11, I was at my desk, at my office at 5 World Trade Center, eighth floor, working as the vice president of information technology for Credit Suisse First Boston. I was a Williston, Vermont, resident, commuting weekly back and forth to New York City.

I had been at my desk for about 20 minutes and I was checking email, and I heard a loud boom explosion outside of my window. Then I felt reverberations through the floor, the walls; the window of my office was shaking.

I stood up, went to the door, and I saw people just frozen at their desks. I looked back towards my window, and I saw large amounts of debris coming down outside of the window, raining down onto the streets, and I saw people outside my window running east.

It was time to get out.

I grabbed my briefcase — it had my wallet in it, I knew I was going to need that. And I proceeded to exclaim, for everybody, at the top of my lungs, to get the f*** out. And I ran around the floor, screaming that, until everybody had left the floor. I did another sweep. I pulled the fire alarm on the way out; nothing happened.

And then it was into the stairwell.

Click here for the full story from VPR. This story is part of a 9/11 remembrance project, featuring the voices of Vermonters reflecting on how their lives were changed by 9/11. To find the full project, go to www.vpr.org/911.