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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 71158
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I had a fire and it caused some damage to my neighbours property

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I had a fire and it caused some damage to my neighbours property am i responsible
Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi my name is XXXXX XXXXX fire started in one bedroom of my house. when the fire service arrived two officers went in and after 20 minutes came out and said the fire is out and your gas fire was the culprit. while standing outside the property and talking to the officers i realised there was smoke coming out of the alley way ( i live in a terrace property ). the fire travelled through the joint alleyway and into the neighbours house. Their room was being used for alot of storage so they suffered more damage then i did. An investigating officer was called and after 8 hours he took some wiring because the fire place was still in its original place so he ruled that out stating the fire was caused by an electrical fault.I requested a copy of the report from FRS and it said the fire was accidental and the cause was electrical appliance but their was no appliances in the room and i have an rcd trip fuse box, I had an electrical engineer test everything and the fuse box was in working order. Am i responsible for my neighbours damage as i had no insurance and neither did they.

Fires do not generally just start. Something causes it and it is going to be necessary for you to establish the cause of this if you are to defend any claim the neighbour brings.

The neighbour will allege that you have been negligent for failing to maintain an appliance or whatever it was that caused the fire and you will need to show that you had regularly maintain the appliance and had it inspected and that this problem was one which could not possibly have been foreseen by maintenance.

I think it highly unlikely that you are going to escape liability for this unless you can prove that the fault was caused by something that no reasonable inspection could have revealed.

It appears that the fire report is incorrect if it says that the cause was an electrical appliance but there was no electrical appliance in the room.

An RCD will normally trip out in the event of a short circuit and will stop anyone getting a shock will not necessarily trip out if something over heats.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

they said the wiring was under the floor boards but what about the fact that it passed through a party item the report said that the fire was on for about two hours before it had surfaced because of fire resistant material. would that help.

The fact that it passed through a party item, the alleyway, makes no difference.

If it was the wiring under the floorboards, that comes down to your failure to maintain the wiring and have it inspected if it was an established electrical installation

It could be a faulty installation if the wiring had been done more recently or if, for example, you had central heating in, that could be a faulty installation that trapped the wires and caused the problem

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