Hero to the End
"Everybody ran to the stairs," recalled Gregory Warnock, a 20-year-old broker trainee who worked on the 39th floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center. "We started making our way down, landing by landing."
At the 18th floor, "there was an older fireman one floor below me. He gave me a smile. He was huffing and puffing, laughing to himself, making a joke about his age."
The 44-year-old lieutenant accepted Mr. Warnock's offer to help carry gear up about 25 flights of stairs, and he jokingly asked if the broker trainee was a firefighter. Told that Mr. Warnock was a broker, "he said, 'you stay doing that, it's better money.' "
"People were coming down, saying people were trapped on the 72nd floor. He said to me, 'Go down, you did a great job.' "
Before Mr. Warnock left, he asked the firefighter's name. "He was like, 'Gregg Atlas,' and he bent down and flexed like Atlas the bodybuilder."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 24, 2001.