Lucky this house had not already burned down

Inspected this house yesterday. In one area of the attic the roof decking and several 2x4s were very scorched/charred (the picture really does not do justice to the amount and severity of the burning). When I glanced down I saw the water heater flue pipe coming through the ceiling and about a foot into the attic. (Just left of center at the very bottom of this picture you can see the very top of the flue pipe). The water heater only looked to be a couple of years old, and there was no hole through the roof decking where there had previously been a flue pipe. You wonder what some people are thinking when they do something like this. Certainly, it couldn’t have been a licensed plumber who did something like this.


I wonder about the health of the people that have been living there. Chronic minor CO poisoning, headaches and other problems.