The first time he tried, nothing. The second time, he produced a snap, a puff, and a fizzle, but no fire. The third time, he burned down the Inn and was run out of town. He styled himself 'sorcerer', even then.
Fire magic is supposed to be easy: consider all of creation as composed of tiny particles, all of which burn when hot enough. Hold them in your mind, make them vibrate like the flare of a well-rung temple bell.
There must be some way to contain it, to focus it; and he'd find it. Back to the drawing board.