Craig Fire and Rescue respond to a roof fire Wednesday morning |

Craig Fire and Rescue respond to a roof fire Wednesday morning

Andie Tessler
Lt. Matt Beckett and firefighters Ryan Hampton, Chris Herring and Al Landa are hoisted to the roof of 439 Breeze St., in Craig, to inspect the structure for signs of smoke or fire still burning inside. The Craig Fire Department responded at 9:15 am Wednesday morning after a crew of roofers called to report smoke.
Andie Tessler

— The Craig Rural Fire Protection District got an early start Wednesday morning, responding to a call at 439 Breeze St. after a roofing crew called to report two small fires atop the building.

The building, which is home to Grand Futures Prevention Center, OMNI, Horizons Specialized Services Inc., Colorado West Regional Mental Health Inc. and the Craig Mental Health center, was evacuated as smoke entered the building.

A crew from APH Construction had been working for more than a week to replace the building’s aging roof. The process involved adhering Nord Pro-Torch waterproofing compound to seal the structure from moisture.

The compound is laid down in strips and then heated with a torch to allow a tar-like layer on the bottom to melt and adhere to the roof. It was during that stage of the process that dry wood surrounding the building’s HVAC climate control system began to smolder.

“We didn’t know it was on fire at first,” said Kelly Mason, who was working on the roof when the crew noticed smoke. “The air vents sucked all the smoke into the building so we couldn’t see it.”

Roofing crewmember Mario Ayala sprang into action with a fire extinguisher once the workers realized what was going on.

According to foreman Russ Hill, emergency services were called as a precaution, but the fire was out before the fire department arrived at the scene.

“It’s very minor damage,” said Fire Chief Bill Johnston. “But I talked to the roof crew, and they’re going to be using a different method for doing this to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”