People are what matter to Johnny the most--the important people in his life, especially Dally and Ponyboy, as well as the children who were trapped in the church; children who needed saving much like Johnny had needed from his abusive parents.
Like most heroic figures, one of the traits that make them heroic is the ability to put others first. He put Ponyboy first in the fight with the Socs, and he put the children first in the fire. The fact that he could do something to save them brought new energy to his life and allowed him to face the danger without fear.
Johnny spent much of his life trying to be invisible, trying to survive. Saving the children from the fire gave him purpose and meaning that helped him transcend his struggles.
Johnny is a hero at heart. He cares about people, as shown by his efforts to save Ponyboy. Unlike fighting, this situation has has a clear right and wrong. He knows that he and Ponyboy started the fire in that church, and he knows that it is his responsibilty to take action to save the children. In Johnny's mind, the fire isn't like the danger that is posed by the Socs. The fire isn't vindicative and it doesn't want to cause pain - it doesn't think. It is just there, and just like he attacked Bob to save Ponyboy, it is just something he has to face in order to save the innocent.
This sounds very much like a homework question. I HIGHLY recommend you do not cheat on homework, because you learn to search everything and don't think.
At least were getting our homework done, thats all that matter! Plus why are you here if aren't cheating either? That doesn't make sense, you just came here to tell others that they're cheaters and they don't get smart by cheating.
Well some people only uses for reference or they just don't understand the question so... not everyone is cheating.