The firefighters wore their full gear during the climb to the top of the tallest hotel in the Southeast.
Photo: Courtesy of Anne Marie Fuller / Westin Peachtree Plaza
Photo: Courtesy of Anne Marie Fuller / Westin Peachtree Plaza

Local firefighters climb 72 flights of stairs to honor lives lost on 9/11

A group of DeKalb County firefighters climbed to the top of the tallest hotel in the Southeast on Saturday to honor the lives of first responders who died in the 9/11 attacks.

The seven firefighters wore their full gear as they walked the 72 flights of stairs to the top of the Westin Peachtree Plaza downtown, which is known for its cylindrical shape and the Sun Dial restaurant on the top floor.

DeKalb County firefighters gather after climbing 72 flights of stairs at the Westin Peachtree Plaza.
Photo: Courtesy of Anne Marie Fuller / Westin Peachtree Plaza

The event was also a fundraiser for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s Smart Home Program, which builds mortgage-free, custom homes for catastrophically injured service members. The foundation is named for Siller, a firefighter who died while rescuing others on Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorists attacked and destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City.

During the climb Saturday to the top of the 754-foot building in Atlanta, the firefighters wore badges with the names and photographs of first responders who died in 9/11. Family and friends gathered in support of the climbers. The DeKalb firefighters who participated were Chandler Tinsley, Anthony Gomez, Kevin Tart, Mike Goff, Patrick Hogan, Jeremy Atkins and Doug Harms.

The Sun Dial restaurant is located at the top of the iconic Westin Peachtree Plaza building.
Photo: Channel 2 Action News

Several other departments from across metro Atlanta and the state participated in the climb.

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A witness said anti-gay slurs were yelled before someone shot and killed 28-year-old Ronald Peters in DeKalb County.

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