BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — While many in the Western New York community mourn, a notable pediatrician left his mark.
53-year-old Dr. Jonathan Daniels and his two daughters, 23-year-old Jensen Daniels and 27-year-old Jordan Daniels, died after fire tore through their North Buffalo home.
"Dr. Daniels is definitely Buffalo's born and bred," says Pastor Darius Pridgen. "He was someone who was greatly sought after because of his medical knowledge."
Pridgen says Dr. Daniels was a pediatrician who saved countless lives, including one of Pridgen's grandchildren.
"My granddaughter had a huge abscess that others couldn't figure out," he says. "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.
"That was the side that represented the city as a Black man, as a Black physician, a Black pediatrician," Pridgen says. "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."
Dr. Allison Brashear of the University at Buffalo says Dr. Daniels leaves a legacy that the school will continue.
"Dr. Daniels's goal was to eliminate the term under-representative medicine," Dr. Brashear says. "That's a term that we use to try to increase the diversity, and he did so much to bring Black medical students, and residents into the Jacob school."
Dr. Brashear says she and others will miss Dr. Daniels's cheerful ambiance.
"He just embraced life and brought that enthusiasm for everything that he did to our students and faculty and we will miss him greatly," she says.
Dr. Daniels and his daughters leave behind a wife and mother, Janessa Daniels, who escaped the fire.
She's being treated for serious injuries at ECMC.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Meanwhile, so many hope Dr. Daniels's legacy will live on.
"I hope that other African American females and males will feel that push when he was in the military when he was introduced to medics," Pastor Darius Pridgen says. "And then came back to spend the rest of his life fulfilling his vision, and it's my hope that inspiration will continue far beyond his life."
Click here to donate to the Daniels' family.