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Salmon v Seafarer Restaurants [1983] 1WLR 1264

The defendant owned a fish and chip shop. One night he left the chip fryer on and closed the shop for the night. This caused a fire and the fire services were called to put out the fire. The claimant was a fire man injured in an explosion whilst fighting the fire. He had been thrown to the ground whilst footing a ladder on a flat roof. The defendant sought to escape liability by invoking s.2(3)(b) of the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 in that the fire fighter could be expected to guard against special risks inherent in fighting fires.

Held:

The defendant was liable.  Where it can be foreseen that the fire which is negligently started is of the type which could require firemen to attend to extinguish that fire, and where, because of the very nature of the fire, when they attend they will be at risk even if they exercise all the skill of their calling, there is no reason why a fireman should be at any disadvantage in claiming compensation. The duty owed to a fireman was not limited to the exceptional risks associated with fighting fire but extended to ordinary risks.
 
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