3 Campus Police Officers Save Residents from Apartment Fire

Stevens Institute of Technology officers rushed into the building to evacuate residents.

Often campus police officers must respond to incidents that happen beyond their institution’s or district’s boundaries, and that’s exactly what happened last fall when a three-alarm fire broke out at an apartment building near the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J.

Fortunately, due to the quick thinking and actions of three Stevens campus police officers -Officer Tim Legowski, Sergeant George Martinez and Captain Thomas Maggi – the apartment’s residents were able to evacuate the building without sustaining any injuries. It is for this reason that Legowski, Martinez and Maggie are being named Campus Safety’s Heroes for the month of January.

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The incident began on the night of Oct. 15 when Legowski was on patrol, and he noticed flames shooting out from the top of the apartment building. After notifying the Hoboken fire and police departments, he, Martinez and Maggi rushed to the smoke-filled building and ran up the stairs to the top floor, which was engulfed by fire. They then began evacuating the apartment’s residents (including at least one Stevens graduate student), many of whom were asleep.

When the Stevens officers arrived at the apartment building, they discovered that the smoke detectors had failed to activate. Martinez then pulled the fire alarm.

Hoboken police helped to complete the evacuation, and the Hoboken fire department also responded quickly, keeping the fire from spreading to adjacent buildings.

Stevens Campus Police Chief Timothy Griffin credited his officers for saving the lives of the apartment residents.

“The alertness of our officers at that early hour of the morning and their courageous actions by entering a smoke-filled, burning building and activating the pull station to awake residents and safely evacuate them likely saved lives,” he said. “I am very proud of them all, and we are fortunate to have them serving our community and Hoboken residents. Both the Stevens community and the residents of Hoboken are very fortunate to have such highly skilled and dedicated first-responders.”

Maggi was quick to share the credit with the Hoboken police and fire departments for keeping the fire damage to a minimum and the incident injury-free.

“We work closely with the Hoboken Police Department and we monitor each other’s radio transmissions,” said.  “As for the fire department, they are a top notch unit. They are on our campus frequently during fire alarm responses and are always helpful with their advice and knowledge.”

Congratulations Officer Tim Legowski, Sergeant George Martinez and Captain Thomas Maggi!

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