SARATOGA -- A man burning used wooden roofing shingles in an outdoor fireplace ended up catching his own wooden shingle roof on fire Wednesday, starting a two-alarm blaze that gutted about half the large Quito Road home.

According to Santa Clara County fire Investigator Jeremy Davis, one of the three residents was burning shake shingles that were discards from a roofing job he had performed.

The fireplace lacked a spark arrester, Davis said, and the resident had rigged an upside-down wrought iron tabletop to the chimney in an attempt to catch any rising bits of burning material.

"One of the embers went through and got on top of the roof," Davis said. "It was an old, wood shake roof and the fire progressed down into the attic."

He said it spread to other rooms in the house, making it uninhabitable and displacing the three residents.

Davis estimated the damage to the 3,800-square-foot home at $500,000 to $800,000.

Davis said 33 firefighters responded to the blaze, which was called in around 3:30 p.m. and took about an hour and a half to get under control. Nobody was injured.

Contact Eric Kurhi at 408-920-5852. Follow him at Twitter.com/ekurhi.



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