Who Pays If Your Neighbor’s Fire Damages Your Home? , 27 th Feb 2018


If your neighbor’s house caught fire, would you know what to do? Also, if the neighbor’s house fire caused damage to your house, who would pay the costs for repair?

In this issue, we’ll talk about both issues.

Quick-thinking neighbor helps to rescue man in Le Mesa.

In late February, a man living in a Le Masa apartment complex heard a knocking noise from the unit below. After smelling smoke, he saw smoke filling his own unit.

The man, who has fire rescue experience from his service in the military, knew exactly what to do. “I was going to kick the door in but my experience taught me that you can’t open the door right away during a fire,” the man recalled.

As he waited for firefighters to arrive, he helped to evacuate other residents from the complex. Eventually, firefighters pulled the man in the burning unit from a back room and took him to UCSD Medical Center with minor injuries.

What to do if your neighbor’s house is on fire.

If you find yourself in a similar situation as the man described in the story above, you should:

  • Immediately dial 911 to alert the authorities;
  • Check the doors and doorknobs of the home for heat – if they are warm, there’s a good chance that fire is raging just on the other side;
  • Do not go inside the burning structure as parts of the building could fall around you, blocking your exit; and
  • Run to safety.

Who pays for the damage to your home caused by your neighbor’s house fire?

The short answer is that it depends upon your own insurance policy. There’s most likely a clause in the policy stating that damage caused by a neighbor’s negligence will be covered, but they (the insurance company) will most likely target your neighbor – and their insurance provider – to recover the damages.

If your insurance policy does not contain such a clause, you may want to consider suing your neighbor based upon their negligence to recover any out-of-pocket expenses from your end.


There are a host of services that are often necessary in the fire and smoke restoration process, and we’re experts in all of them. If your home or business is damaged by fire, call us here at J&M Keystone; our number is 800-368-2757.

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