Cases Interpreting the Scope of the Firefighter's Rule

In Flowers v. Rock Creek Terrace (1987) 308 Md. 432 520 A.2d 361, the allegations reflected "the theory that Westinghouse and Rock Creek owed a duty to the plaintiff to maintain a reasonably fireproofed elevator system and to warn of potential malfunctions of the elevators in the event of a fire." (Id. at p. 370.) The decision in Jackson v. Velveray Corp. (1964) 82 N.J.Super. 469 198 A.2d 115, merely concludes that the "rule of nonliability extends not only to negligence in creating or starting the fire but also includes negligence related to the spread of the fire, such as ordinary negligence in housekeeping which tends to promote the spread of a fire after its inception from other causes." (Id. at p. 118.) Kreski v. Modern Wholesale Elec. Supply (1987) 429 Mich. 347 415 N.W.2d 178, similarly involved allegations of negligence "in maintaining the building." (Id. at p. 180.) The central question in Buren v. Midwest Industries, Inc. (Ky. 1964) 380 S.W.2d 96 was "whether failure of the owners of a building to comply with applicable fire safety ordinances (for example, ordinances requiring sprinkler systems, fire walls and stops, etc.) results in liability for the deaths of firemen killed while fighting a fire." (Id. at p. 97.) Lastly, the injuries at issue in Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Company v. Crouch (1968) 208 Va. 602 159 S.E.2d 650, occurred when wind caused a forest fire to "mushroom up or explode" (id. at p. 655) and in White v. Edmond (11th Cir. 1992) 971 F.2d 681, when a fire caused shock absorbers on an automobile to burst (id. at pp. 682-683).