9/11 Stories: Marty Singer

“It was like a scene out of a movie. A thriller. Looking up, I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing. I refer to them as birds but it was really people jumping out of the building. I was thinking to myself, ‘what would compel somebody to jump from a building 80 stories up'? There’s one image forever etched in my mind: three people holding hands as they went out”.

J & R Music World Corporate Sales Manager Marty Singer was driving from Brooklyn to work right by The World Trade Center when he saw black smoke billowing from the North Tower, and sirens blaring behind him. A block away from the site, he saw the second plane hit The South Tower. People were running toward him yelling, “Terror attack! Terror attack!”

Marty was on the street with thousands of others watching the horror unfold when he saw the South Tower start to fall and ran into a nearby J&R Music World store to take refuge. Hundreds poured into the store for safety from the black cloud enveloping Park Row. It was suddenly pitch black outside. Although he was safely indoors, he wasn’t entirely free from the toxic clouds. The dust seeped inside. Marty went behind the counter, grabbed a t-shirt, ripped it, and held it over his face. Once he could see outdoors again, and Marty was able to venture out, the ground was covered with inches of dirt, along with books, papers, and shoes. Singer was inside another nearby store when the second tower came down right in front of him. He decided to stay there, helping however he could. He remembers the Army delivering k-rations. He spoon-fed an NYC firefighter who seemed to be in shock, his face grey and ashen. Marty finally went home 30 hours later. Just spending a day and a half there, Marty developed blood cancer 14 years later. The doctor had no doubt: it was caused by the toxic dust from the collapsed buildings.