MILFORD (CBS) –  An off-duty emergency dispatcher helped save several lives when he spotted a fire growing at a home in Milford overnight.

Jason Covino was passing by the house on North Bow Street around 11 p.m. Wednesday when he saw smoke and flames and called police. He and two police officers then helped get people out of the burning apartment building as firefighters showed up. Covino said there were no smoke alarms going off.

“They reached doors, were kicking them in, and I would run in to get the families out. I’m a big guy, have me yelling, ‘Everyone get out of the house. Fire! Fire!” Covino said.

Firefighters then rescued a woman from the second floor and she was rushed to Milford Hospital, then to a hospital in Boston where she is recovering from  burns to her face and lungs.

Fire Chief William Touhey said the woman was “conscious and talking” and told them the fire, which was contained to her apartment, was caused by “smoking materials.” The state fire marshal’s office said the “focus is on accidental causes.”

The home on North Bow Street after the fire. (Photo credit: Anna Meiler – WBZ-TV)

Covino said the credit belongs to the two officers who joined him at the scene.

“The guys that joined me on scene, the two officers, did as much, if not more, heavy lifting than I did. And then overall, you know, it’s just sad to see the family standing out in the cold rain, and, you know, their home being damaged. But I’m happy that they, you know, that they’re safe at the very least,” Covino said.

“How do you walk by somebody’s house on fire without ringing the doorbell, calling the police?” Covino asked.

No one else was hurt. As many as eight residents had to find another place to spend the night.