The status of the fireman or policeman who enters on the land of another in the performance of duty, under a right conferred by the law, has quite generally been held to be that of a licensee, to whom the landowner owes no greater duty than to refrain from wilful, wanton misconduct. This places such visitors in the second group of the usual classification, which designates persons present on the land of another as trespassers, licensees (bare licensees, gratuitous licensees, social guests), and invitees (business visitors) . A recent case so holding is Aldworth v. F. W. Woolworth Co., where the plaintiff, a municipal fireman, standing on a fire escape of a building occupied by the defendant and fighting a fire in an adjoining building, was injured due to the negligent condition of the fire escape. The reasons given by the court in this case, and by its predecessors for similar holdings, are that the fireman enters under no invitation, express or implied, that his right to enter is conferred by law by reason of "overruling necessity," and that in case of such necessity the occupant would have no right to exclude him. No distinction is drawn between the status of a fireman who enters premises to fight a fire on the premises entered and one who enters in order to fight more advantageously a fire in adjoining premises. The fact that the landowner called the fire department does not constitute an invitation, as the fireman's right to enter exists independently of the call and would exist to an equal degree if a stranger had sent in the alarm. But where the fireman is under no duty to enter the building and his right to enter depends solely on the owner's invitation, as in answer to a call to a fire outside of the city limits, he is an invitee and the occupant is responsible to him for an injury caused by a negligent condition of the premises. Where the landowner has been guilty of active negligence toward the fireman, he is liable for the injury caused. This is the generally accepted rule and its mutations.

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