I was 16 in high school, about 10 miles from where this guy was. We were outside watching at lunch hour.
By the end of Computer Math class (where we got to watch the closeup news footage over and over), it was pretty obvious to me and the other geeks that the SRB had burned through some how.
That was the day I learned to hate "management" as it was found out later on that the engineers had warned about launching.
Then the friggin NASA managers did it again with Columbia.