DANVILLE, Va. -

The Danville Fire Department battled two separate house fires Friday that were started accidentally.

In the first fire, a passerby helped save a homeowner’s life by knocking on the homeowner’s door when they saw flames.

The fire that took place at 203 Arnett Boulevard was reported at 8:07 a.m. Friday.

When Danville Fire Department units arrived, a large amount of smoke was coming from
all sides of the one story house. The owner was the only person living there, and he was already outside on the walkway. The owner was able to escape with help from Kenneth Gillie and one other unknown person.

Gillie is a city employee who was passing by and knocked on the door until he awakened the home owner and helped him to exit the home. Gillie’s actions probably saved the man’s life, according to a news release.

The fire began in the basement and was contained there, but smoke and heat damage was noted throughout the home.

The Fire Marshal’s Office investigation showed that it was ignited by a candle that was accidentally left burning in the basement.

The Fire Department was on the scene for over two hours.

The second fire was reported around 2:20 p.m. Friday at 115 Mary Miles Drive, which is on Danville’s north side.

Fire was coming out through the kitchen window when firefighters arrived. Firefighters knocked down the fire quickly. The kitchen and dining room were badly damaged.

Investigators determined that the fire was started by grease that was accidentally splashed out of its container, and ignited on the stove.

No one was hurt in either fire.