Thanks a heap for the good links, mate!
I can't help but think that a story like this begs a question to be asked:
What is an apprentice doing in a roof with a blow-torch, on his first day in the trade?.
Where was the supervision?.
There was a similar (although not as much damage) situation here when I first joined the Fire Service of a young fella that set the underfloor area of a house on fire with a blow-torch, sweating some pipe joints.
Am I wrong in thinking that there should have been a metallic heat shield behind the area where the work was being done, to protect the surrounding timber from the flame?
When jointing refrigeration pipes under a house we always used to have wet rags and the heat shield as well as a fire extinguisher.
What a way to learn on your first day in the trade!!.