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Funeral for father who died rescuing family

Posted at 7:14 PM, Feb 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-27 09:09:18-05

Funeral services were held at St. John Baptist Church in Buffalo for Demetrius Johnson, Sr. The 24-year-old father of four died on February 19, 2016 after a fire swept through a duplex on Humber Avenue, Buffalo.

Before losing his life, Johnson rescued the mother of his children and his badly burned 8-year-old daughter, Treasure Thomas. Johnson went back into the burning structure to rescue his young son and another man who lived in a separate apartment, but never made it out alive.

Many who spoke at the funeral described Johnson as a "hero" and said his sacrifice should be an example to others.

"We may not be able to save everybody, but we should not shirk any opportunity not to try," said Pastor Alan Core during the service.

Treasure Thomas remains at Shriners Hospital in Cincinnati with her mother at her side.

"She is doing great. She is doing amazing. She is actually breathing on her own, so they took the breathing machine off and she went in for her fourth surgery at about 10 a.m. this morning. She is doing amazing," said Gwendolyn Taylor, her aunt.

The tragedy touched the hearts of people across the country and donations have been pouring in to help.

"The community has been overwhelming. It has been great. The support is amazing and the family couldn't ask for anything better," added Taylor

Demetrius Johnson was buried in St. Matthew's Cemetery following the wake and funeral services in downtown Buffalo.