Lifestyle & Human Interest

'Angel' Spots House Fire in Middle of Night, Warns Family of 11: 'She Saved Our Family'


As the Ellis-Downing family went to bed on July 4, they had no idea that in just a few short hours, all their lives would be in danger.

The large family of 11 from Fairfield, Ohio, was unaware when a fire broke out in the garage. The smoke detectors weren’t going off. The wind was blowing smoke away from the home, so no one inside smelled it.

But good Samaritan Haily Strong spotted the fire from nearly a mile away and had one thought: She had to warn the people inside.

Strong drove to the house, ran up to the porch, knocked and addressed the doorbell camera.

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“You guys’ garage is on fire!” she said.

She was able to rouse the parents, who were able to get all nine children out of the house before the fire spread and trapped them.

Both parents are incredibly grateful for Strong’s actions, knowing that without her stopping to help, their family might have perished.

“That’s an angel,” Josh Ellis said, according to WLWT. “She saved our family, no exaggeration about that. She stayed and she saved our family. I mean, the house was ablaze.”

“All of the other outcomes that could have happened if she wouldn’t have stopped and knocked on the door,” Brittany Downing said. “I don’t know if me and him would be here today for them kids.”

Before discovering who their angel was, Downing posted their incredible story on Facebook.

“I don’t know who you are, I don’t know where you are or if I’ll ever be able to Thank You again enough for being such a brave human being to stop and bang on the door for minutes while the fire was gorging next to you!” Downing wrote. “You are god sent and if it weren’t for you I don’t know if Me or My family would still be here today!


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“With lots of LOVE, The Ellis Family.”

According to a GoFundMe set up for the family by one of Downing’s close friends, the family lost all their possessions in the fire, including their cars and kids’ clothing and sports equipment. But thanks to Strong, they escaped with the most important thing.

The family eventually met Strong and was able to express their deepest gratitude in person, claiming her as family after her heroic actions.

“It was really beautiful,” Strong said of meeting the family. “I was surprised at how much emotion I felt. Obviously, I was happy to be able to help them out and to get them out ok, but it was great to see them in person.”

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