Photos and video by Chris Stone

Stair-climbers gathered Sunday morning to take on an annual challenge: scaling 30 flights three times as a remembrance of the fallen firefighters who went up the twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001.

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  • In hot, sticky weather (the stairwell wasn’t air-conditioned), 911 firefighters from across the country were joined by police and local residents at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. Aid stations every six floors provided drinks in the fourth annual event.

    Opening ceremonies included the Navy SEALs sky-diving team and speeches by firefighters and a Navy SEAL. The program also had music, and a beer garden. Children had laser tag and a teddy bear rescue experience.

    Proceeds went to, which helps firefighters and their families. More than $65,000 was raised, according to organizers.

    Among the climbing participants was San Diego Councilman Todd Gloria.

    Girl Scout Troop 6743 from Jamul took part in honor of Daniel Ignosci, a fallen fire captain. Scouts cheered the climbers as they made their way around the building.

    Food trucks also were on site, and fire trucks were on display.