Fire Breaking out on Shabbos
3.[In the previous two Halachot of this chapter, we've seen that in
situations where there is no danger to life, and hence the fire will not be
extinguished, it is permissible to carry a limited amount of food, property
and clothing out of one's house]. However, this only applies if one is
carrying the objects to a place into which one is generally permitted to
carry on Shabbos. It is forbidden to save any articles by transferring them
to a place into which one is prohibited to carry on Shabbos.
[Different principles apply with regard to] saving clothing. One is
permitted to walk out, even into the public domain, wearing as many
articles of clothing as one can put on (1). One may then remove them,
return, put on other articles of clothing, and walk out with them; one may
follow this procedure for the entire day if necessary (2). One may also
tell others, "Come and save," and they are allowed to save [clothing] in
the same manner.
(1) Only the amount of clothing needed for the remainder of Shabbos, may be
carried out in one's hands.
(2) The reason one is not permitted to keep returning to the house to save
food, is because the Sages feared that one would forget that it is Shabbos,
and end up extinguishing the fire. However, with regards to clothing, the
fact that one has to wear them out, rather than carry them, is enough of a
reminder that it is Shabbos (Mishna Berura 334:18).