At 5:55 a.m. April 19, 1993 FBI driven
tanks began their assault on the Branch Davidian home and church
Mount Carmel Center. Bradley vehicles driven by FBI agents
began delivering "liquid ferret tear gas rounds," i.e., gas
grenades, into the underground tornado shelter. FBI agents
alleged Davidians began firing on the tanks. FBI opted to speed
up delivery of gas and began launching first of 400 gas grenades
into the building. Over the next four hours tanks tore large
holes in the building and sprayed gas directly inside, smashed
big holes in the front of the building and tore down half the
brings down, and drives up on, the roof of the gymnasium.
smash into both the front door and the middle front of the building.
rips away part of the east front corner of exterior wall, ground
floor level; boom smashes into second floor. A few minutes later,
from this section of the building, fire is seen. Survivor Renos
Avraam claims tank knocked down lantern in second floor room above
where tank ripped away wall and started a fire. (Circled Number
12:07:41 p.m.--Infrared video indicates first fire on second
floor, east front. During this time survivor David Thibodeau
climbed up to the second floor above the chapel, by the front hall
way and saw a fireball rush down that hall way towards the tower
bedrooms and the stairwell down into the dining room.
12:08:11 p.m.--Infrared photo shows large fire already
developed on dining room wall and tank sitting north of collapsed
gymnasium roof. News video shows tank west of dining room from
which smoke is seen billowing.
12:08:17-22 p.m.--Infrared photograph shows two large flashes
in end of dog run. (Circled Number "2") Survivor Derek
Lovelock saw a fireball rush up from the back of the gymnasium
towards the chapel.
photo shows second floor front fire is well developed. Tank sits
outside church area throughout fire. 12:09:45 p.m.--Chapel
fire first visible on infrared.
quickly engulfing the building.
ball explodes as most of building is in flames.
During the fire:
three to five tanks rammed away at the building, pushing
incriminating evidence into the fire.
An un-named FBI agent to the left and chief
negotiator Byron Sage to the left pose for photographs as Mount
Carmel burns in the back ground.