Firefighters from East Olympia Fire District 6 scaled Seattle's tallest building Sunday afternoon to remember a lost friend and help raise funds and awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
DJ Brimer and several others from the district climbed more than 1,300 steps in the Columbia Tower for the annual Scott Firefighter Stairclimb. They climbed in memory of Matt Leppell, a former volunteer firefighter at the East Olympia station who died of leukemia and Crohn’s disease in September at 24.
The best time for the department was 26 minutes, with other times coming in at 31, 44 and more than 2 hours, according to results posted by sponsors. As a team, the department finished second to last out of 117 teams.
Other local departments also took part in the climb. Olympia Fire Department placed 21st and Lacey Fire District 3 placed 61st.
The fastest overall time from all participants was just under 11 minutes by a 29-year-old from Missoula Rural Fire. Spokane Valley Fire Department came in with the fastest team time.
Times weren’t the most important aspect of the day, Brimer said – that was reserved for the memory of Matt Leppell. His family was in attendance, cheering on the fire fighters. They also set up a station with information about Matt Leppell and the fire department.
East Olympia participants also placed photos of Matt Leppell on their gear and helmets during the climb.
To donate, visit www.eofd . org and click the stair climb link. The department will continue to seek donations through the end of this month.