Hero Toddler Saved His Mom And Sister From A Raging Inferno But Died Trying To Hide In Bedroom
Due to cold winters, many Americans use space heaters. But although these standbys are cost-effective and convenient, they are also potentially hazardous because they can cause fire.
And unfortunately, Whitney Johnson and her family know the devastating consequences heaters can bring.
Whitney Johnson’s story
In November 2015, Johnson was sleeping on the sofa with her 2 kids – 2-year-old son DJ and 5-week-old daughter Nyla. Suddenly, an electrical fault in the device triggered an explosion of the heater and sparkled a deadly inferno.
For some reason, the smoke detector didn’t work. So, Whitney only found her room burning when DJ woke up and started shouting her name, trying to save his mom and little sister.
Johnson's immediate reaction was to grab her toddler’s hand, scoop up the baby girl, and run through flames.
Johnson needed to turn the key in the lock, so she let go of her son for a second. But she didn’t expect he would run back to his room to hide.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) April 7, 2018
She could not find DJ amidst fire and smoke, so Whitney had one terrible decision to make: leave him behind and save her little daughter whose scalp was already melting. She went back as soon as she handed Nyla to a neighbor.
At that point getting my son out was all that was on my mind. I tried to run back into the apartment but it was in flames.
Sadly, Johnson could not reach her son who died from smoke inhalation. The mother was left with burns to almost 30% of her body. And little Nyla had 19% burns. Two years later, Whitney’s daughter still has to undergo therapy.
Now, the mom is pregnant with her fourth child, and she tries to raise awareness on her social media pages and encourage people to teach kids about fire safety.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, heaters result in 25 thousand residential fires and 300 fatalities each year!
What can be done to prevent fire?
- Keep a heater at least 3 feet from furniture and other flammable materials;
- Turn it off when leaving the house or going to sleep;
- Make sure a smoke alarm has fresh batteries.