BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- The house fire that changed Tempest Thomas’ life forever is still fresh in her memory.

“We woke up, we couldn’t see. Smoke was raring over the ceiling, over the wall. When I woke Demetrius up we heard our kids screaming and crying and the glass breaking,” Thomas told News 4 of the February 2016 fire on Humber Avenue.

The blaze that took Thomas’ daughter Treasure Brighon, and her fiance Demetrius Johnson Sr. from her.

“If I could ask for anything for Christmas it would be have to them back here with us, Demetrius and Treasure.”

Johnson Sr. or “Meech” and his family called him, rescued Brighon from the burning home; the 8-year-old girl sustained severe burns on more than 90 percent of her body, and later died from her injuries.

Johnson Sr. went back inside the home, when he noticed one of his sons was still inside.MORE | Local father’s bravery cost him his life

“He said I gotta go back in there for my son, my son is missing,” Thomas recalled.

“I waited I waited, I waited and I didn’t hear anything,” Thomas said.

It was later, at Children’s Hospital, that Thomas learned Johnson Sr. never made it out.

The couple’s son, Demetrius Johnson Jr., or “Little Meech” survived.

Almost 2 years after Demetrius Johnson Sr’s death, Thomas received the Carnegie Medal for Outstanding Civilian Heroism on his behalf.

The award went out to 20 people from the U.S. and Canada who risked their lives while attempting to save others.

“This award will be passed down to his son Demetrius Jr. when he gets older so he can always have a memory of his dad and he can understand why his dad isn’t here,” Thomas told News 4.

Thomas was pregnant when she lost not only her oldest daughter, but the love of her life.

Now 1-year-old Heaven is a reminder of the lives Demetrius saved, and where Thomas said he is now.

The Carnegie Medal sits on a shelf overlooking the family’s Christmas tree.

In all, three people died as a result the fire: Demetrius Johnson Sr., his stepdaughter Treasure Brighon, and downstairs neighbor Juan Navarro.

Investigators believe the blaze was caused by faulty wiring.