Crown Office Chambers

Fire fighting: Stannard v Gore and fire damages

Stannard v Gore makes it harder for a claimant to win when damage is caused by fire escaping from a neighbouring premises.

Before Stannard v Gore a defendant was liable under the rule in Rylands v Fletcher for damage caused to the claimant’s property by an escape of fire from the defendant’s premises in the following circumstances. First, the defendant had to have brought onto his land things which were likely to cause and/or catch fire (the ‘dangerous things’), and have kept them in such a condition that, if they ignited, the fire would be likely to spread to the claimant’s land. Second, the defendant’s use of their land had to have been ‘non-natural’….

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2 Crown Office Row