Roofing Mishap Sparks Fire at ABHS in Chehalis Monday Morning

By the staff of The Chronicle

A piece of fluff that caught fire while roofers were doing hot-mop work on the roof of the American Behavioral Health Systems (ABHS) facility in Chehalis eventually set between $5,000 and $6,000 in the building Monday morning, according to firefighters.

The Chehalis Fire Department responded to reports of a fire on the 500 block of Southeast Washington Avenue just after 9:35 a.m. on Aug. 30. According to witnesses and ABHS personnel, roofers were hot mopping the roof – a process that spreads molten asphalt onto a flat roof – when they accidentally lit a piece of fluff, which passed through a dryer vent and started the fire.

The fire was right above the laundry room of the building. The building’s sprinkler put out the fire before it could spread, Chehalis fire chief Tom Hendershot said.

ABHS employees had extinguished most of the fire on the roof with hand fire extinguishers before the fire service arrived.

Emergency services cleared the area just before noon.

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