BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A balloon release will take place Thursday evening in remembrance of Dr. Jonathan Daniels, a prominent Buffalo doctor who was killed in a house fire on July 4 along with two of his daughters.
The release will take place at 6 p.m. outside Urban Family Practice at 1315 Jefferson Avenue, one of the offices where Dr. Daniels treated patients.
Daniels, 53, died when flames tore through his home on Huntington Avenue in North Buffalo early Monday morning. Two of his daughters, 23-year-old Jensen Daniels and 27-year-old Jordan Daniels, were also killed. Their mother, Daniels' wife Janessa, survived and is being treated for serious injuries at ECMC. The couple's third daughter was not home at the time.
"Dr. Daniels is definitely Buffalo's born and bred," said Pastor Darius Pridgen, who recalled Dr. Daniels as a pediatrician who saved countless lives, including the life of one of Pridgen's grandchildren. "My granddaughter had a huge abscess that others couldn't figure out. "But the minute Dr. Daniels saw her, he said this is this, get this tested and took care of it. For him to be so young, he had so much knowledge and wisdom."
Dr. Daniels made his mark another way, by being one of the very few Black male doctors serving Buffalo's Black community. He served as associate director of admissions in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo.
"That was the side that represented the city as a Black man, as a Black physician, a Black pediatrician," Pridgen said. "Which we know not many of them definitely not Western New York, but across the country of men and women who go to medical school and then decided to take care our little ones. So it's a huge loss to our community."
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
A GoFundMe page to help the surviving members of the Daniels family has already raised more than $75,000.