Man dies after saving daughter in house fire

Posted at 4:35 AM, Feb 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-22 07:35:39-05

Two people are dead and two children are injured after a massive house fire broke out early Friday morning in Buffalo.

Around 4 a.m., crews were called to a fire at the corner of Humber and Litchfield. Heavy smoke could be seen pouring out of the multi-story home. Around 4:45 a.m., firefighters were pulled from the home as flames shot out of the roof.

Around 5:30 a.m., our news crews were asked to stop filming so crews could remove at least one body from the burning home. Just before 6 a.m., a second death was confirmed.

Demetrius Johnson, Sr. and 49-year-old Juan Montanez died in the fire. Montanez lived upstairs. Johnson lived in the downstairs apartment with his three children, 8-year-old Treasure, 3-year-old Demetrius Jr., 15-month-old Demerius and their mother, Tempest Thomas. This is a photo of Johnson and Thomas together, provided to 7 Eyewitness News by the victim's family:

Johnson rescued his family, carrying the 8-year-old girl to safety, before going back to try to rescue Montanez from an upstairs apartment and his 3-year-old son Demetrius Johnson, Jr.. Neither Johnson or Montanez survived. The two men were not related.

However, firefighters did rescue the 3-year-old who was taken to Women & Children's Hospital.

Treasure suffered burns on 90 percent of her body. She is in a fight for her life and was flown to Shriners Hospital for Children in Cincinnati for treatment in their burn unit.

Her 3-year-old step-brother suffered smoke inhalation and was in the pediatric intensive care unit at Women and Children’s Hospital. On Sunday, he had shown enough improvement to be moved to a regular room.

The 15-month-old was okay after being treated and released.

Tempest Thomas, the children's mother, was uninjured. She was unable to accompany her 8-year-old daughter on the jet to Cincinnati due to space restrictions but she is now being provided free air transportation from Wings Flights of Hope - an local volunteer organization that helps families by providing compassion flights for medical situations.

Two firefighters were burned while fighting this fire and were taken to ECMC for treatment.

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