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Brett Chancellor, 39

December 20, 2005

Rooftop inferno ignited by accident

A two-alarm fire sparked by a roofer charred the top of Elemental Rites Piercing Tattoo building Tuesday afternoon.

The blaze damaged the roof of the building, which also houses The Flat Top and Vic&

s Mongolian Bar-B-Que on the 1600 block of Siskiyou Boulevard. However, the fire did not cause significant smoke or water damage inside, fire officials said.

&

This is a good outcome for us,&

Ashland Fire Rescue Chief Keith Woodley said, explaining the quick response of the B shift &

11 fire fighters and administrators in total &

got the blaze under control quickly.

The fire is only the second structure burn in Ashland this year, according to Woodley.

The fire started when roofer Gary Sabin was using a propane blow torch to evaporate standing water on the north end of the flat roof before spreading tar.

&

I was just doing a patch job,&

said Sabin, who operates Red&

s Roofing out of Jacksonville. &

I had a torch and I was heading it up to dry it.&

The flames ignited the roof top just after — p.m., causing Sabin to drop the torch and run to the backside of the building. The torch, still connected to a propane tank on the ground, fueled the fire.

Elemental Rites owner Ryan Kremp, 31, had gone next door for a haircut at The Flat Top.

&

My son had just stepped outside and he said &

145;Are there supposed to be flames up there?&

&

recalled Mike Diaz, who owns barber shop.

Kremp raced to his store thinking he would salvage something, but instead reached for a fire extinguisher and headed to the roof. Meanwhile, a Central Point man driving past stopped and crept close enough to the blaze to turn off the propane tank feeding the flames.

Firefighters arrived on scene minutes later and quickly doused what remained the fire. The investigation and clean-up lasted until nightfall.

Ashland police officers closed Siskiyou Boulevard between Walker Avenue and Harmony Lane for about an hour while fire crews worked.

Read more details in tomorrow's Daily Tidings.

Staff writer can be reached at 482-3456 x 225 or jsquires@dailytidings.com.