Andrew Broadhead, 42, and eight-year-old Kiera died in the blaze in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, on Wednesday, which police believe was started deliberately.
Sara Broadhead paid tribute to the pair when she visited the scene at the house on Ash Crescent, in Stanley.
Mrs Broadhead, 35, said: “Andy was a brave hero who managed to save the lives of his wife and eldest daughter. Unfortunately he couldn’t save our youngest daughter Kiera and gave his own life trying to save hers.
“He was a very kind man and Kiera was a vibrant, independent loving girl. Our whole family are absolutely devastated by their loss.
“If Andy and Kiera were here they would be overwhelmed by the kindness and support they have been shown.
“We just want to thank everyone in the community and everyone who has supported us so far.”
Firefighters were called to the blaze, which West Yorkshire Police believe may have started after a substance was poured through the letterbox, at around 4.20am on Wednesday.
Police said Mrs Broadhead escaped through a bedroom window but Mr Broadhead stayed in the house to try to save Kiera.
Post-mortem examination results have revealed that both died as a result of smoke and fire gas inhalation.
Police launched a murder inquiry following the deaths and said it was possible the person responsible for starting the fire may have been burned in the process.
Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Bryar said: “A number of active inquiries remain under way as we try and determine just why someone would want to start this terrible fire.
“We need, and they need, to know why this has happened and I would appeal again to anyone who has information to come forward.
“I would ask that person to come forward and speak to us at the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.