The flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol on September 11, 2001, was among the items destroyed by a fire at the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Jackalyn Kovac of WJAC-TV in Johnstown posted this tweet:
Three administrative buildings were burned in the fire, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
Smoke rises in the background as firefighters respond to a fire at the Flight 93 National Memorial headquarters Friday, Oct. 3, 2014, in Shanksville, Pa. (Image source: AP/Daily American, Dylan Johnson)
Dennis Hastert, a former U.S. House speaker, donated the smoke-smudged flag to the memorial in a ceremony on the 9/11 anniversary last month, the Post-Gazette reported.
Hastert said a passenger-led attack against the hijackers that day probably saved thousands of lives in the Capitol, the paper noted.
“If it wasn't for the actions of those heroes, that plane probably would have crashed into the Capitol of the United States,” Hastert said. “They, with their courage and their strength, took down that plane.”
The Post-Gazette described the 7-by-14-foot flag as "still sooty from the fire at the Pentagon caused by the crash of another hijacked airliner that morning."
Ken Nackle, a brother of a Flight 93 victim, told KDKA-TV he was "heartbroken" after learning 9/11 artifacts were believed to have been destroyed by the fire at the memorial.
“It really brings you back to that day,” he told the station, adding that he and others "gave a lot of personal stuff to the memorial that we wanted to be shared with everyone" and that "the more and more I think about it, the more heartbreaking it becomes."