JOSEPH J. "BG JOE" LESNIEWSKI was born in Camden on May 13, 1919 to Stella and Andrew Lesniewski. The Lesniewskis were living at 1156 Jackson Street when the 1918-1919 City Directory was compiled. By 1924 they had moved to Pennsylvania.

Joseph Lesniewski was working as a machinist and living in Pennsylvania when he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps in Philadelphia on December 12, 1941.

Joseph Lesniewski came to Camden after World War II, where he married Wanda Chomiczewksi, who lived and had grown up at 1440 Rose Street. He was appointed to the Camden Fire Department on December 30, 1950 and reported for duty on January 1, 1951 with Engine Company 7 at 1115 Kaighn Avenue. He stayed at Engine Company 7 until April of 1966 except for a three month long tour with Engine Company 8. Between April of 1966 and August of 1968 Joseph J. Lesniewski was transferred four times, to Ladder Company 1, Engine Company 2Engine Company 11, and

finally to Engine Company 10, from where he retired on January 1, 1981.

The 1956 New Jersey Bell Telephone directory shows Joseph J. Lesniewski living at 1100 Orchard AStreet in Camden. By 1959 the family had moved to 930 Atlantic Avenue, around the corner from St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church. The Lesniewski family would reside there into the 1970s.

Joseph J. Lesniewski was still serving as a Fire Fighter in 1977. He was then living at 166 Linden Avenue in Oaklyn NJ. Before retirement he had seen his son, Joseph A. Lesniewski, join the department, on April 2, 1974. The younger Lesniewski had risen to the rank of Captain by 1997, the serving at Engine Company 11 on North 27th Street in Cramer Hill.

Last a resident of East Beechwood Avenue in Oaklyn NJ, Joseph J. Lesniewski passed away on May 9, 2008, survived by his wife Wanda, son Joseph A. Lesniewski and daughter Elaine Lesniewski Griffin.

Camden Courier-Post - November 21, 1947
Click on Image to Enlarge
Briggs Cafe - Angelino Martelli - Lansdowne Avenue - Mary Deregowski
Charles Beyer - Dominic Maione - Stella Briggs -
South 5th Street
South 8th Street - Gustav Koerner - John Trout - Milton E. Cahill
William Schultz - Joseph J. Lesniewski - William Szymborski - Louis Street  
Mount Vernon Street
- James Caputi - William Prucella
John V. Wilkie
-  Joseph Gimello - Washington Street 

Fire Canteen Unit and members of Engine Company 7 after a general alarm fire on December 14, 1959. From left: Captain Anthony Saponare, Volunteers of America Colonel William Gwynne, Fire Fighters Carl Szalkowski, Joseph "Slick" Verderosa, and Joseph "Big Joe" Lesniewski.

Camden Courier-Post * August 21, 1968

Boy, Girl Saved in City Fire

Two children were revived by artificial resuscitation last night after being rescued from flames which damaged a bedroom of their home.

The boy and girl, two-year-old Kenneth and eight-month-old Tracy, are the children of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Bagby of 2108 Van Buren Street, Camden.

They were rescued after fire broke out in a second floor bedroom of the home at 11:19 PM. They were asleep in the room at the time.

Fought Flames

The girl was rescued by James Robinson, acting captain of Engine Company Three. Robinson went through the building until he reached the bedroom.

According to Battalion Chief Thomas McCabe, Robinson fought his way through the flames and heat in the room to reach the child. The girl was not breathing when rescued, McCabe said, but. Robinson performed the artificial resuscitation.

The boy was rescued by Captain Chester Gedrich of Engine Company 10, who climbed a ladder to reach the bedroom. The youth was handed down the ladder and revived by fireman Joseph Lesniewski of Engine Company 10.

Taken to Hospital

The children were taken to West Jersey Hospital Northern Division, Camden, where they were examined and released.

Two other Bagby girls, five-year-old Dawn and six-year-old Kim, were next. door, at 2106 Van Buren Street, with their mother when the fire broke out.

Chief McCabe said he did not know the whereabouts of the father at the time of the fire.

Camden Courier-Post * March 27, 1969

Eight Cited For Service Above Duty

Two Camden Fire Department Engine Companies were awarded unit citations and eight firemen attached to the companies were each given merit citations yesterday for service above and beyond the call of duty.

Camden Fire Chief Edward V. Michalak awarded the citations to representatives of Engine Companies 3 and 10 in ceremonies held in the department's headquarters at Third and Arch Streets.

Chief Michalak said the eight firemen under adverse conditions and without regard to personal safety, boldly rescued two children from a burning second story bedroom last August 20.

According to Michalak, Captain Chester Gedrich, 47, entered the home located at 2108 Van Buren Street, by ladder and rescued 8 month old Tracy Bagby, passing her to Joseph J. Lesniewski, 40, who took her to the street and gave her artificial respiration.

Meanwhile, Michalak said, acting Captain James Robinson, 31, entered the flaming building, went up the stairway and rescued, Tracy's, 7-year-old brother Kenneth.

Assisting in the rescue were firemen Clair H. Graham, 58, Harold Johnson Jr., Ronald Gorski, 30, George Kurtyan, 24, and Robert W. Frett also 24.

Camden Fire Department - FIRE WATCH MAGAZINE, SPRING 1977



Fr. Howard G. Brickner #5           

 26 Years

Fr. Harvey J. Fisher #186

 26 Years

Capt. James W. Smith 

26 Years

Dep. Chf. Anthony C. Saponare       

 35 Years 

Fr. Andrew H. Foreman #183

26 Years

Fr. William J. Stibi #120 

26 Years

 Batt. Chf. Robert E. Dukes   

 30 Years 

Fr. Henry S. Keubler #34 

26 Years

Fr. William M. Stone #29

26 Years

Insp. Fr. George C. Hennessy #21  

 30 Years 

Fr. Joseph J. Lesniewski #50

26 Years

Capt. William G. Winstanley

26 Years

Dep. Chf. Daniel F. Jiannetto 

30 Years 

Fr. Phillip MacDonald #7(1

26 Years

Fr. Adolph S. Zubrzycki #62

26 Years

Dep. Chf. Theodore L. Prima

30 Years 

Fr. Joseph J. McTaggart #26

26 Years

Batt. Chf. John J. Giuliano

21 Years

Fr. Eugene F. Alston #7 

 29 Years 

Batt. Chf. John J. Mogck

26 Years

Insp. Fr. Alfred D. Nigro #76

21 Years

Batt. Chf. Biaggio P. Ardire 

 29 Years 

Capt. John E. Moore 

26 Years

Fr. Leon Puszczykowski #100

21 Years

Fr. William R. Harring #69     

 29 Years  Capt. Robert P. Olesiewicz 26 Years

Fr. John L. Sterner #73 

21 Years

Fr. William E. Hinch #151       

 29 Years  Capt. Anthony T. Orme 26 Years

Fr. Francis P. Stibi #143 

21 Years

 Capt. Herbert J. Schott 

 28 Years  Fr. Ralph H. Palmer #46 26 Years Fr. Carl R. Szalkowski #95 21 Years

Batt. Chf. Charles A. Bates

 26 Years

Members as listed above, have anniversary dates which fall during the first quarter




Camden Courier-Post * May 11, 2008

On May 8, 2008, of Oaklyn, NJ, age 88.
He is the beloved husband of Wanda (nee Chomiczewski) and loving father of Joseph A. Lesniewski (Terriann) of Williamstown and Elaine Griffin (David) of Cherry Hill. His dear grandchildren Laura and Emma Griffin and brother-in-law Charles Chomiczewski of Collingswood also survive him. Mr. Lesniewski was an Army Veteran of WWII and a retired Camden City Firefighter.
Relatives and friends are invited to meet Tuesday morning from 9:30 to 10:30 AM at the CRERAN FUNERAL HOME, 400 WHITE HORSE PIKE, OAKLYN, NJ. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 11:00 AM at St. Aloysius Church, 37 W. Haddon Ave. in Oaklyn. Interment will follow in New St. Mary's Cemetery, Bellmawr. There is no evening viewing.