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Firefighters wrongly thought all the fires at Oliver's premises had been extinguished, but one of the still smouldering fires burst into flames, causing damage at the premises. Which is the most accurate description of the legal situation?

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According to these facts, the fire brigade would not be liable because there is insufficient proximity between the fire brigade and the owners of property for a duty of care to be imposed. In the case of John Munroe Ltd v London Fire Brigade [1969] 1 QB 428, the Court of Appeal held that there was neither proximity nor a special relationship sufficient to give rise to a duty of care in these circumstances. The court reasoned that imposing such a duty would hinder the effectiveness of the fire service and could lead to an unmanageable flood of litigation. 


Key Point: The case of John Munroe Ltd v London Fire Brigade is pivotal in understanding the limitations of duty of care regarding public services. Public policy considerations play a crucial role in determining the extent of liability, especially when it involves essential services like fire brigades. The decision highlights that without a clear and proximate relationship, and considering the broader public interest, a duty of care may not be imposed.

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