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Felix Cuervo, Highrise Hero

  • Daniel Levinson Wilk (a1)


On September 11, 2001, elevator starter Arlene Charles helped her coworker and shop steward Carmen Griffith, who had been severely burned on her face and hands, down seventy-eight flights of stairs. Security worker Gabriel Torres helped evacuate frightened tenants and then led two firefighters through the building in a search for more victims; they were trapped under falling debris and dug out two hours later. Window cleaner Jan Demczur, stuck in an elevator between floors with five other men, burrowed through the wall with his squeegee, and the men made it out of the building minutes before it collapsed. The Service Employees International Union told their stories on its website (


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International Labor and Working-Class History
  • ISSN: 0147-5479
  • EISSN: 1471-6445
  • URL: /core/journals/international-labor-and-working-class-history
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