The Louisiana State Fire Marshal has cited a roofing contractor in a smoldering blaze that lit up the top of LSU’s Patrick F. Taylor Hall Jan. 19.
Fire investigators ruled that careless roofing practices by Roof Technologies Inc., contributed to the blaze, according to Deputy Chief Brant Thompson, of the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
The fire burned over a 5,600 square-foot area of the roof of the large engineering building but was extinguished quickly and caused no structural damage, Thompson said.
“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 … departed for the day,” Thompson said in a news release. “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.”
Officials with Roof Technologies, a subcontractor on the Patrick Taylor Hall project, weren’t immediately available for comment.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office cited the roofing company with four violations: Placing an asphalt and tar kettle on the roof, positioning a tar-soaked mop in unsafe proximity to combustibles, failure to conduct a required two-hour fire watch and not having portable fire extinguishers nearby.
Patrick Taylor Hall is in the midst of an extensive renovation and expansion project.
The Lemoine Company, the general contractor for the project, previously said the fire wouldn’t delay work on the building and that classes and other functions in the building weren’t disrupted by the fire.