BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - According to the Louisiana Fire Marshal, careless roofing practices have been identified as a contributing factor in the cause of a fire that damaged the roof of a building on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge in January.
Baton Rouge fire officials requested the assistance of the State Fire Marshal's Office in reference to a structure fire on the LSU campus that was reported at approximately 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night, January 19, 2016.
Upon arrival, firefighters found a small fire on a portion of the metal roof of Patrick Taylor Hall, which is currently under construction. The fire, which was quickly extinguished, caused no damage to structural components of the building.
Investigators determined that the fire was caused when hot tar left on a mop ignited after the mop was improperly stored when employees of the roofing contractor, Roof Technologies, Inc., departed for the day. Gusting winds are believed to have fanned the smoldering tar until it ignited, burning a nearby cart that was used to move tar about the roof. Roof Technologies, Inc. is a sub-contractor for the general contractor, The Lemoine Company.
Officials of The Lemoine Company accompanied investigators during the scene examination and agreed with their findings.
Roof Technologies, Inc. was cited by the State Fire Marshal for violations including placing an asphalt and tar kettle on the roof, positioning a tar-soaked mop in an unsafe proximity to combustibles, failure to conduct a required two-hour fire watch, and not having portable fire extinguishers nearby.