A brave father has died while saving his three-year-old son from a house fire, after successfully rescuing his fiancée and two other children from the blaze.
Demetrius Johnson, 24, from Buffalo, New York woke his entire family up when he smelled smoke early Friday morning. He immediately helped his fiancée Tempest Thomas, and children Treasure Brighorn, 8, and 15-month-old Demaris Johnson out of the burning house, the Daily Mail reports.
However, Johnson soon realised his three-year-old son Demetrius Jr was still inside the first-floor apartment. With no concern for himself Demetrius broke a window to let out smoke and ran back into the inferno.
William Johnson, Demetrius’ brother, told Buffalo News.
Tempest told Demetrius, ‘Don’t go back in there, it’s too bad’…. My brother said, ‘I’m not going to let my son die.’
After managing to get back into their home, he placed his son in a closet in the living room before unfortunately collapsing from smoke inhalation.
Firefighters were able to rescue Demetrius Jr soon after, but Johnson could not be saved.
William Johnson paid tribute to his brother, adding:
My brother died a hero, that’s all there was to it….He was an angel…He died doing everything he could do to rescue his family.
Tragically, Johnson’s daughter Treasure suffered severe burns to 90 per cent of her body and remains in a critical condition at the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Demetrius Johnson Jr and younger brother Demaris are both in a stable condition. Tempest, who Johnson proposed to only five days ago, was not injured.
The family had only moved into the home a week ago, witnesses told WIVB, and while the apartment had smoke detectors they reportedly did not go off during the fire.
William Johnson told Buffalo News the apartment also had an electrical problem only hours before the blaze began and apparently Tempest had called the landlord requesting it be repaired.
It is believed the fire began around 4am in the kitchen area, but firefighters are still investigating the cause.
An unidentified 49-year-old man who lived in the apartment upstairs was also killed in the fire.