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RED BANK: ROOF FIRE VEXES CHIEF

rb-fire-091814-1-500x375-6687244Firefighters closed off a portion of Broad Street to fight the blaze. One peered into a wall cavity abutting the roof, below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A hard-to-locate rb-fire-091814-2-220x165-4862428fire apparently started by roofers prompted the shutdown of a stretch of Broad Street in Red Bank Thursday afternoon.

Emergency personnel responded to smoke alarms from 50 Broad, home to the A Time to Kiln pottery class shop, and an adjoining building at about 4:10 p.m., said Fire Chief Tommy Welsh.

Volunteer firefighters then spent about an hour on the roof and inside second-floor offices, where they cut into walls in search of the source of hazy smoke, he said.

Welsh said the fire was believed to have resulted from the use of a torch in closing seams on roofing material.

He told redbankgreen that he and fire Marshal Stanley Sickels plan to ask workers from borough-based Ben’s Roofing why they didn’t immediately call the fire department at the first sign of trouble, as required under a permit issued for roof work.

A fire inspector had visited the jobsite Wednesday to verify compliance with borough requirements, including the presence of a fire extinguisher, he said.

“We have to have a talk about what we expect from contractors,” said an “annoyed” Welsh, whose paid job is as the borough’s deputy fire marshal. “If there’s a stray ember, they’re supposed to call the fire department immediately. That didn’t happen.”

There were no injuries in the incident. Damage resulted from firefighters “dismantling” interior walls and a a roof wall to visually inspect for fire. A heat-imaging camera was also used to locate the blaze, he said.

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