Firefighter Paul Beyer, 37, had just begun building his family’s “dream house” that July. The windows were done, the garage was built, and he was still bricking in the chimney on 9/11. Beyer had joined the FDNY in 1993 after working as a machinist for a dozen years. He was skilled with his hands.
On 9/11, Engine 6 reported to Tower One. His fellow firefighter, William Green, told this story: “Paul was gearing up like all of us when we got there. We were heading in to put out that fire, but getting up those stairs was very fatiguing. We regrouped at the 17th floor, and took a short break.” There was a vending machine there but no one had change. They needed water, so Green took his axe to the vending machine and suddenly water was available everyone. “Paul and I actually laughed when I axed the vending machine,” Green said. The men then continued on up to the 31st floor and stopped again to catch their breath. “A lieutenant from Engine 10 told us we had to make a push,” Green said. The two men headed up again, but became separated by two floors. Beyer didn’t have a radio and never heard the evacuation order.
He left behind two teenaged sons and a house that was finished by his firefighter community.