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"Over 50 percent of my roof is gone, and all the wiring has to be replaced," says Candye Kane, who recently returned from a European tour to her partially burned North County home. "I had a contractor fixing a small problem on my roof. Apparently, he used a blowtorch to loosen some of the tar, and the torch started smoldering some of the roofing insulation without his knowledge. After smoldering all day, by late Friday night the roof and house were smoking profusely.

"My 17-year-old son Tommy came home about 11:00 p.m. and opened the attic, and black smoke billowed out. He wanted to climb up there with a fire extinguisher, and thankfully, my roommate Josh talked him out of it and they called 911."

Kane says her homeowner's insurance, along with the contractor's insurance, should cover repairs.

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