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Chicago Area Woman Who Perished On Sept. 11 To Be Remembered In Niles

WBBM's Steve Miller

(CBS) -- A Chicago area family is marking the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on Sunday by remembering 21-year-old Vanessa Kolpak.

Hundreds of people competed for the job, but Kolpak, of Lincolnwood, got it.

And she had only been working a few weeks there in the South Tower of the World Trade Center when Sept. 11 happened.

Her uncle -- Niles Mayor Andrew Przybylo -- says Vanessa called her mother after the first tower, the North Tower, was hit.

"She said she was OK.  She saw the smoke coming out of the first building. Then she saw people jumping out of windows to escape the flames, and that was horrific," Przybylo says.

"And my sister Vivian kept saying, 'Get out of there. Get out of there.'"

And Przybylo says she tried. But by then the second plane hit five floors down from Vanessa's floor.

He says that on Sunday, some of the family may go to the memorial in Niles that's dedicated to Vanessa.

His sister -- Vanessa's mother -- can't bear to stay in town whenever the 9/11 anniversary comes around.

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