TAMPA (WFLA) -A nonprofit foundation has paid off the mortgages on the homes of two Tampa Bay first responders killed in the line of duty earlier this year.
The Tunnels to Towers Foundation paid off the homes of Tampa Police Department Master Patrol Officer Jesse Madsen and Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Sheriff Michael Magli.
Deputy Magli was killed on Feb. 17, 2021, while trying to stop a drunk driver who was leading authorities on a high-speed chase. Deputy Sheriff Magli was attempting to deploy a tire deflation device when he was hit by the driver other deputies were chasing.
He leaves behind his wife, Stephanie, and two young daughters.
“Knowing my home is paid off is such a huge weight off my shoulders. To know that our two young children will always have a roof over their heads and they can grow up in this home like we always dreamed leaves me speechless,” Stephanie Magli said in a statement. “I cannot be more thankful or honored that Tunnel to Towers provided our family, my children with the ability to stay in the home that Michael and I created together.”
Officer Madsen was killed when he intentionally drove into the path of a drunk driver traveling the wrong way on Interstate 275. He laid down his life to stop the driver from putting anyone else’s life in danger.
The 45-year-old left behind his wife, Danyelle, who is also a police officer, and their three children.
“After hearing the news about my husband everything was upside down and surreal. In the days that followed one of my worries was having to move from the house that our family made our home,” Danyelle Madsen said in a statement provided by the nonprofit. “How do I return to my job as a police officer to pay a mortgage with my kids begging me not to return for fear of losing another parent?”
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s Fallen First Responder Program pays off the mortgages for the families of law enforcement officers and firefighters who are killed in the line of duty with young children.
For more information on the Tunnels to Towers Foundation, visit their website.