A dad has been hailed a hero after running into his burning home to save his baby twins.

Ray Lucas, 23, and his girlfriend Shi'Ann Brown came back from a trip to the shops to buy milk to find their home in Eastpointe, Michigan, USA, engulfed in flames.

Ray's mother had been watching the girls and was in the front garden panicking and trying to get help.

Their twin daughters Malaysia and Milan, who are 18 months old, were trapped in the basement in their crib as the flames spread through the three floors.

Mr Lucas was not sure firefighters would arrive in time, so he dashed into the burning building to save his children.

Malaysia and Milan were trapped in their crib (

Image:

RAY LUCAS)

He told CNN : "I was speechless. Action took over me. I ran into the house to get my babies.

"I'm looking at it as a father. I did anything that any other father would do or should do."

Once inside he discovered he struggled to see past the flames.

He made his way to the basement and embraced his daughters.

One of them was standing in the crib while the other was laying down. Mr Lucas said they were quiet, possibly out of fear of the smoke.

"I was so happy they were responsive", he said. Mr Lucas grabbed the children to his chest and retraced his steps through the smoke to the safety outside.

He handed the girls to his mother - and then realised his niece was still inside.

He ran back in but could not find her. Then he spotted her from his back garden in the second-floor window.

Mr Lucas told her to jump and he caught her in his arms.

Reflecting on the fire, Mr Lucas said: "I was ecstatic my babies were OK and everybody was able to walk away from situation. We didn't lose anyone."

However, they did not all come out unscathed. Mr Lucas and his daughters spent five days in the intensive care unit for burns and other injuries.

All three went to intensive care after suffering serious burns that doctors say will heal (

Image:

RAY LUCAS)

The family also lost their home and all their possessions. "My arms burned, both ears burned, right side of face burned, and my neck was burned", said Mr Lucas.

Mr Lucas had second and third-degree burns on his face, neck and arms. he was also blinded for three days due to damage to his corneas from the smoke. Doctors were worried his sight would not return.

"My vision I feel is back to normal", he said. "It could be better."

Malaysia and Milan were taken to the Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit and treated in the intensive care unit.

Milan had second and third-degree burns on the back of her legs and on her feet.

Malaysia has second- to third-degree burns to her eyes, cheek and arms, and needs physical training and exercise to get her arms working properly again.

Mr Lucas was told by doctors that the burns will go away over time. He said the experience of being burned has taken a toll on him "mentally".

The cause of the fire is under investigation. The fire department told Mr Lucas the foundation of the house was ruined.

He said: "The house didn't burn all the way down, but it's a lost cause. Everyone's possessions were gone from smoke damage or flames."

The family has also had to deal with expensive medical bills, as the US does not have a national health service.

They are currently living in Detroit to recover and plan for the future. "It's still not real to me... the situation is still so surreal to me", Mr Lucas said.

They have received support from well-wishers after Mr Lucas's aunt started a GoFundMe page to help the family rebuild their lives.

So far they have surpassed theor target of $40,000 (£28,766) and raised over $286,000 (£205,681) from more than 8,000 donations.