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Spokane firefighters run to the top in stair climb

Sun., March 7, 2010, 11:22 p.m.

A team of stair climbers from the Spokane Fire Department finished in third place out of 129 teams competing Sunday in a Seattle stair climb fund raiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Spokane firefighters Eric Ross, Jason Keen and Jesse Ayotte completed the climb with a cumulative time of 41 minutes, 36.8 seconds.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department placed sixth with Paul Kimball, Mark Knokey and Dustin Waterbly finishing in 41 minutes, 49.4 seconds.

Individually, Kimball finished third; Ross, sixth; Keen, 20th; and Knokey, 31st out of 1,294 climbers from the U.S., Canada and New Zealand.

Ross, 44, took first place in the master’s division.

The Scott Firefighter Stair Climb is an annual event at Columbia Center tower in downtown Seattle and involves a climb with fire gear up 69 flights with 1,311 steps.

The Spokane department raised $12,960 for the charity this year. Donations are still being accepted at

The Fairchild Air Force Base fire department finished 40th; Spokane County Fire District No. 9 finished 44th; and Spokane County Fire District No. 10 placed 88th.

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