Can you sue a volunteer fire companyif it wasnot able to put a truck on the street and a house burned down as a result?

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Can you sue a volunteer fire companyif it wasnot able to put a truck on the street and a house burned down as a result?

It was during the evening when the sirens went off from the local volunteer fire company for a house fire. Only limited man power showed up but no driver. After 5 minutes the 911 center calls to see if there is a crew. Since there is no driver there is not a crew. They dispatch next due for the area. The next dispatch crew from another town, got to the scene and put the fire out. The house was to the ground at that point. Now can the owner sue the local volunteer fire company for not getting out? Or for any reason? No Injuries.

Asked on March 3, 2011 under Business Law, Delaware

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Well, there are injuries but thankfully they are only monetary.  It is unclear to me that you will have a cause of action against a volunteer fire department but maybe.  It could be difficult to determine about how much would have burned "but for" the failure of the fire department to properly deploy a truck. I think, though, that there is a better route for you.  Have you made a claim under your insurance and through that company?  That may be the way to go.  If the house is insured and you can collect then the insurance company could do what most of them do: subrogate the claim, meaning that you allow them to sue the party that caused the fire of that cause the extent of the fire on your behalf.  Speak with them about it.  Have they determined the cause? You should speak with them and with an attorney. Good luck. 


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