The accounts presented in this anthology are excerpts from the interviews and written recollections gathered by the Center of Military History. Due to considerations of space, only some of the accounts at the Center could be included. This volume, therefore, does not offer every story or even, in most cases, complete stories. Then Came the Fire is a mosaic of individual accounts and impressions, arranged in an approximately chronological order, that reflects the reality of 11 September as understood and remembered by the people who experienced it. The interviews have been lightly edited, but the intent has been to retain the voices of the individuals as much as possible. Four asterisks within an interview indicate that a significant portion of text has been omitted. Many interviews were conducted with a floor plan of the Pentagon at hand so that interviewees could more easily explain their movements. Readers will discover references to such diagrams. Readers will also encounter some stories that seem impressionistic or disjointed as speakers try to relate what they felt, saw, and did amid the turmoil and danger.