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It sounds like your control switch is bad, it is sending a signal to ignite the unit when it shouldn't be. There is no gas flow to the unit or burner assembly and it just continues to try to ignite. This would explain the flash with the ticking sound. Every time it tries to ignite you will see a flash and hear this tick until it actually ignites or senses ignition. Since it is doing this with everything in the off position the only explanation would be a bad switch that is still throwing power to it when it shouldn't be.
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