Homeowner sues French fire service over blaze in his garden

He claimed firefighters did not do enough to prevent reignition of a fire in a nearby field

Pompiers spent two hours fighting the original fire
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A home-owner attempted to claim over €16,000 in compensation from firefighters after a fire from a nearby field burnt part of his garden in France.

The incident happened during back-to-back fires in the summer of 2018 in Droue-sur-Drouette (Eure-et-Loir) in central France

A fire broke out in a field near the claimant’s property and destroyed around 100 hectares of vegetation.

The firefighters were quickly called and spent around two hours at the scene. Their report after the event stated “the edges of the field have been cleared and the owner of the field has removed excess growth around the borders.”

However, later that afternoon, a rise in temperature and gusts of strong wind reignited the blaze, which this time spread to properties at the perimeter of the field.

This caused the fire to encroach onto the claimant’s garden, burning some of his outdoor furniture as well as hedges on the border of his property.

Read more: Checks, fines, help: rules for clearing undergrowth around French home

Court denies claims

The claimant said the firefighters failed to provide “sufficient surveillance of the premises to prevent the fire from reigniting.”

He was asking for €15,707 in compensation for material losses and a further €1,000 in non-material losses.

The court denied his request, however, stating the firefighters were not at fault for the second fire and followed the usual methods to attempt a fire sparking back up.

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