John B. "Jack" Hoffman, 66, of Whitemarsh Township, a former township police officer and detective, died Wednesday, April 9, of cancer at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del.

Mr. Hoffman retired in 2003 as a detective after 32 years with the Whitemarsh police force.

Earlier, he had served as an officer in the traffic unit, which he had created. He was certified to perform accident-reconstruction investigations.

In 1991, Mr. Hoffman was honored with six other officers for rescuing three young children and an elderly woman from a house fire the year before.

Mr. Hoffman was on patrol and reacted quickly, running to the second floor of the burning house on Butler Pike, picking up a 3-year-old child, and leading the two older children and their grandmother to safety.

At a public meeting, the Whitemarsh Board of Supervisors honored Mr. Hoffman and the others for their heroic actions. Chief Richard Zolko said: "I'm very proud of all of them."

Each officer received plaques and certificates from the township supervisors for valor and merit.

After retiring from the force, Mr. Hoffman became director of code enforcement for Plymouth Township. He never officially retired.

Born in Philadelphia, he graduated from Plymouth Whitemarsh High School and then served in the Army during the Vietnam War.

When Mr. Hoffman returned home, he studied criminal justice at Temple University.

Mr. Hoffman devoted himself to volunteer work as a firefighter for 48 years. He was a life member of the Harmonville and Barren Hill volunteer companies. At Harmonville, he served as vice president, deputy chief, and engineer; at Barren Hill, he served as president and assistant chief.

He also was a deputy fire marshal for Plymouth and Whitemarsh Townships.

He was a member of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 in Philadelphia, American Legion Post 10 in Fort Washington, the Montgomery County Fire Chiefs Association, and the Plymouth Community Ambulance Association.

In his spare time, he coached Whitemarsh Township Little League baseball, as well as girls and boys basketball teams. He enjoyed camping, and fishing and boating with his family in Sea Isle City, N.J.

Surviving are his wife, the former Barbara Speers; a son, John B. II; daughters Melissa H. Guarino and Jennifer M.; three grandchildren; three sisters; and a brother.

Services were Sunday, April 13.

Contributions may be made to the Harmonville Volunteer Fire Company, 2100 Butler Pike, Plymouth Meeting, Pa. 19462.