4-year-old raises hundreds for firefighters killed in 9/11

Published: Sep. 13, 2019 at 6:23 PM CDT
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More than 100 people climbed the state Capitol steps Friday, honoring the victims of the 9/11 attacks. The event raises money for the families of fallen firefighters. This year, organizers collected more than $11,000. One of the top fundraisers is 4-year-old Kayden Stroklund.

Firefighting is in Kayden's DNA. His father Kris is a firefighter with Dakota Gasification Company. Kris says Kayden watches training videos instead of cartoons.

Four- year-old Kayden Stroklund can tell you just about everything there is to know about firefighting. What they wear, what to do if a room fills with smoke, why a mask and oxygen tank are important, all of it.

"Ever since about 18 months he was watching firefighter training videos instead of cartoons,” said Kayden’s dad Kris.

A fully geared up Kayden joined more than 100 other people climbing the stairs honoring those lost in the 9/11 attacks. Kayden raised money for the event, even donating some of his own for something that happened 13 years before he was born.

"It's for a really good cause and he seems to be understanding it which is really cool that he's looking to help some other people that need help,” said Kris.

"Seeing younger generations step forward to help out the foundation help the fire service really says a lot about this country, a lot about the people,” said Bill Webb, vice-chair of the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation. Webb presented Kayden with a coin and thanked him for the fundraising work he did.

Getting high fives along the way, Kayden completed the climb three times- that's 54 flights of stairs.

On that day 18 years ago, Bill Webb with the Fallen Firefighters Foundation was down the street from the Pentagon. Another firefighter, Ed Chmielewski, was helping with evacuations at the World Trade Center.