Whitney Johnson had fallen asleep on sofa with her two-year-old son DJ and five-week-old Nyla, when heater exploded.
In a heart-wrenching revelation, it emerged that a toddler managed to save the lives of his mother and baby sister by alerting them to a house fire, but unfortunately, died, after running back through the flames to hide in his bedroom.
The 26-year-old Whitney Johnson from Kentucky had fallen asleep on the sofa with her two-year-old son DJ and five-week-old Nyla, when a heater exploded and sparked and 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.
However, 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 child 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.
Despite being in shock, Whitney managed to sound the alarm in her apartment block, allowing around 30 other residents to evacuate.
Recalling the event, which happened in 2015, she said: that if it wasn't for him yelling for me, they would definitely not be alive.
The blaze was initially blamed on a something being left on the stove, but further inquiries traced the source to a space heater plugged in the living room.
Whitney was left with burns to 29 per cent of her body and Nyla, now aged two, with 19 per cent burns, and the pair both spent two months in hospital before being discharged.
They still bear the scars, with Nyla - who continues to undergo therapy - has even been branded a 'baby Freddy Krueger' by strangers because of her scars wrought by the fire.
Johnson is now pregnant with her fourth child.