Local Business Presented with Piece of World Trade Center Steel

- FREDERICK, Md. - A local business was presented a piece of World Trade Center steel from 9/11 as a thank you for their part in building smart homes for America’s bravest.

"You have to realize what it means for a New York fireman to give somebody steel because I spent 9 months of my life digging through this steel. People's DNA is in this steel because more than half the people that were murdered on 9/11 were never recovered," said Jack Oehm, a retired battalion chief with the New York City Fire Department.

Stephen Siller was a firefighter who died saving lives on 9/11. The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is now honoring his memory by building specially designed homes for veterans who return from war with catastrophic injuries.

"The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation has basically taken care of all the needs of the 9/11 firefighters and they've moved the focus now to America’s bravest, the catastrophically injured veterans that have served their country. They are building homes for them and so far, we have 46 homes built and we're on our way to 60 homes by the end of this year,” said Daryl Routzahn, the president and CEO for Kehne’s Carpet One & Floor in Frederick, Md.

Carpet One Floor & Home and its manufacturing partner Mohawk, have provided the flooring materials and installation for all of these smart homes. Kehne’s is now working on a home for veteran Robby Porta in Lovettsville, Va.

"I was injured in 2007 in Iraq by an IED - improvised explosive device," Porta said.

Ronny’s had more than 130 surgeries and his life was forever changed, but the home being built will help him do some of the things he was once able to do.

"It's going to help me a lot, especially getting my freedom back at my own house. I'm going to be able to do a lot of things by myself and not depending too much on my wife or my mother," Porta said.

Ronny thinks it's fitting the store was granted the steel, because watching the World Trade Center fall on that fateful day in September was a reason he enlisted in the Marines.

"I went over there because I didn't want my son to see what I saw on 9/11, and this place is getting a piece of what I fought for," Porta said.

And everyday Daryl walks into his store, he'll see that piece of steel and remember Ronny.

"The sacrifices of our men and what price they had to pay for our freedom," said Daryl Routzahn.

Ronny's home is expected to be completed by the end of June.

Kehne's Carpet One Floor & Home in Frederick is asking customers for a 10 dollar donation to further support the foundation's mission in building smart homes. They match gifts up to one hundred dollars.

Kehne's Carpet One Floor & Home is located at 1306 West Patrick Street, Frederick, Md. 21703.

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