Mom hears stranger at 5am, thinks they’re trying to break in—the truth was terrifying

January 17, 2018 4:38 pm Last Updated: January 17, 2018 4:38 pm

Danielle Howe is a photographer living in Indiana who leads a very happy life. With her husband, Curtis Howe, by her side, Danielle is a devoted wife and mother to their two small children, Caden and Lilly. Contributing her part to keeping the family operating smoothly through daily life, she never expected the terrible night that was in store for them.

The night began just like any other. Putting the children to bed and enjoying her husband’s company, the two went to sleep together never thinking they’d suddenly be woken up at 5 in the morning.

But when 5 a.m. came, there was a loud pounding on their door.

“Open! Open the door!” someone was yelling.

(WTHR/Video Screenshot)

Bleary-eyed and feeling disoriented from being so suddenly woken up, Danielle was hesitant to even answer the door. Danielle was frightened because she was torn from sleep by someone banging on her door unusually persistent, and so she responded to this by yelling at the person on the other side of the door.

“Why?” she yelled back.

It took the person at the door only three words in reply to get Danielle and Curtis out of their bed and into action.

“There’s a fire!”

The Howe’s detached garage was on fire.

Though the fire hadn’t yet reached the house, it was gaining in momentum and could spread there at any minute. There were only a few feet between the house and garage.

Focusing on their survival, Danielle and Curtis quickly grabbed their two kids and ran outside. The people who had been pounding at their door, Michelle Blundell, Heather Harp, and Nicholas David all helped with the evacuation. Moving quickly, the group even managed to ensure the survival of the Howe’s family dog.

“It looked like the entire house, the sky was completely lit up,” Blundell explained to WTHR.

Blundell and Harp are nurses who had just got off a long shift of their work at a nursing home when they saw the blaze. Nicholas had been driving by when he joined up with the women to help save the Howes.

“We’ve seen them around, seen the kids outside,” Blundell shared. “I knew they had babies.”

“We were getting in the house one way or the other.”


Knowing of the fire, for Blundell it made the Howes hesitating to answer the door all the more terrifying. However, she’s thankful the story ended up working out in the end.

“They were totally dazed and confused as to what was going on,” Blundell went on to say. “One of them said, ‘I thought someone was trying to break into our house.’”

The fire department ended up arriving a short time after the Howes had already evacuated.

Danielle was extremely grateful for the trio’s actions, as without them this story very likely would have had a different and tragic ending.

Learn more about the fire below.