LACKAWAXEN TOWNSHIP – A final farewell for Junior Firefighter Lieutenant Jacob Daniels was tough for many first responders in Pike and Wayne Counties today. The 17-year old died this past weekend after crashing his car, but members say he will be remembered as someone who always strived to help others.
A Brotherhood banded together to say farewell to one of their own. The Forest Volunteer Fire Department and First Responders from Wayne and Pike Counties said goodbye to 17-year old Junior Firefighter Lieutenant Jacob Daniels.
"He was loved by all of us. He was truly a leader in our Junior Program, just a fantastic young man,” said Forest Volunteer Fire Department Chief Wayne Rosengrant.
Daniels crashed his car early Saturday morning here in Wayne County while he was on his way home. The Wallenpaupack Area High School student was trapped inside his car and died from smoke inhalation.
His best friend and fellow firefighter Tyler Dodt heard the tones go out that night and at first, didn’t realize what happened.
"I thought nothing of it,” said Forest Volunteer Firefighter Junior Lt. Tyler Dodt.
Now he’s helping to comfort others, while grieving himself.
"It was just an overwhelming feeling of grief that came over me because I never thought that it could have been my best friend that night,” said Jr. Lt. Dodt.
Those closest to Daniels said at his funeral service that he was so dedicated to firefighting that if there`s a department in heaven - he`s already volunteered. Daniels had planned to be a career firefighter.
"He wasn`t a one call guy, he was here for everything. He came to training, he came to everything he came to whatever he could come to he was here. He actually quit his job so he could do essentials,” said Chief Rosengrant.
Neighboring Fire Departments stood in support as Daniel’s fellow Forest Volunteer Firemen helped friends and family cope with this tragic and sudden loss.
"It`s just amazing, a true true brotherhood and that`s what he loved about the fire service,” said Chief Rosengrant.
Now the firefighters plan to keep Daniels’ hard working spirit alive, striving for perfection and giving it their all each and every time their fire tones are called out.
"He knew that we all loved him very much but I don`t think he knew how much we really loved him,” said Jr. Lt. Dodt.
Daniels would have been entering his senior year at Wallenpaupack Area High School. State Police have ruled Daniel’s death accidental. They have not yet said where the teen was coming from when he crashed in Wayne County on his way home.