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Captial and Counties Plc v Hampshire County Council [1996]

Facts

  • In joint appeals, the responsibilities of the fire service were identified
  • In Capital and Counties itself, the fire service turned off a sprinkler system while they were fighting a fire in the same building

Issue

  • In what circumstances due firefighters owe duties of care to those who need them; was it negligent for them to turn off a sprinkler system

Decision

  • Claim allowed

Reasoning

  • No duty is owed for the fire service to take care to attend a fire
  • Once at the fire, the service has no duty to fight the fire with care
  • Damage to property does not make the fire service liable
  • Liability is however allowed if the fire service make the situation worse, as they did by turning off the sprinkler system in Captial and Counties
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