Photo credit: 9/11 Memorial staff
Accession Number: C.2008.52.1
Dimensions: 23 in X 14 in X 8 in
Dimensions (Metric): 58.42 cm X 35.56 cm X 20.32 cm
Credit Line: Anonymous gift
Red backpack with "WTC Fire Watch" printed in white on the front. The backpack contains first aid supplies and a fire warden uniform with hat, whistle, and jacket.
On the 69th floor of the North Tower, Port Authority comptroller Michael Fabiano was lifted out of his chair when hijacked Flight 11 crashed into the building. Fabiano, the fire warden on the floor, urged his colleagues to evacuate at once. Among the people in the office that morning was John Abruzzo, a quadriplegic who relied on a battery-powered wheelchair for mobility. A group of 10 coworkers transferred Abruzzo to a portable evacuation chair, retrieved a backpack filled with first aid supplies, and entered the stairwell. Margaret Zoch led the way, carrying coats and other possessions, while the rest of the group took turns carrying Abruzzo.
As they neared the building’s lower floors, firefighters encouraged the group to speed their exit by leaving Abruzzo with them. Choosing to continue together, the group proceeded to the lobby with Abruzzo and exited the tower through a broken window, minutes before the tower collapsed.