Hero toddler saves mother, sister from fire by waking them up, dies after hiding in his bedroom By CHRIS PLEASANCE FOR MAILONLINE A hero toddler saved the lives of his mother and baby sister by alerting them to a house fire – but died after running back through the flames to hide in his bedroom. Heartbroken Whitney Johnson, 26, from Kentucky, had fallen asleep on the sofa with DJ, two, and five-week-old Nyla when a heater exploded and sparked an inferno. The smoke detector in their apartment failed and it was only when DJ woke up and shouted her name that Whitney stirred to find her living room burning. The HR worker grabbed her son’s hand and scooped up baby Nyla before running through roaring flames to the front door in a bid to escape. But as she turned the key in the lock she was forced to let go of DJ for a split second and the frightened toddler raced back to his bedroom to hide. Whitney – unable to find the crying tot in the smoke and fire – was forced to make the decision to leave him behind and save Nyla, whose scalp was melting. After handing her daughter to a neighbor she went back in but could not reach DJ and he died from smoke inhalation after climbing into his bed.