A five-star hotel devastated by fire as been closed indefinitely, its owners have confirmed.
Cameron House and its facilities will be shut until further notice after a blaze ripped through the main building on Monday, killing two guests and requiring the evacuation of more than 200.
“We would kindly ask all guests and customers to remain patient as we work with the emergency services to establish the extent of the damage and ascertain when we will be able to reopen,” a statement on its website said.
The announcement followed a pledge by Nicola Sturgeon that any lessons to emerge from the investigation into the fire would be “fully applied”.
The First Minister paid tribute to the emergency services who responded to the tragedy as well as offering her condolences to the two guests who died.
Speaking in response to a question at Holyrood from a visibly moved Jackie Baillie, the MSP whose constituency includes the five-star resort on the banks of Loch Lomond, the SNP leader stressed that it was important for the investigation be allowed to “run its course”.
It was earlier reported that Cameron House had no sprinkler system in the part of the building ruined by the fire.
The hotel’s owners have insisted it was “fully compliant with all relevant fire safety regulations”.
Baillie said: “Investigations have yet to start as the building needs to be made safe. But can I ask the First Minister will she ensure that lessons are learnt - whether that’s in practice, or whether through enhanced building regulations.”
The First Minister said: “I want to convey my deepest condolences to the families of the two young men who died and send my thoughts to all of those who were affected by this tragedy.
“This horrific event demonstrates once again how our firefighters so willingly put themselves in the line of danger to assist others on a daily basis.
“Of course there will be a thorough investigation into what happened at Cameron House, and it is important that the investigation is allowed to run its course. But I can give an assurance today that the Scottish Government and our partners, and indeed the owners of Cameron House, will ensure that any lessons that emerge from that investigation are learned and fully applied.”
Simon Midgley and Richard Dyson died as a result of the fire at the scenic resort.
The couple lived together in North London and were holidaying in the west of Scotland, having also spent time in Glasgow.
Emergency services remained at the scene yesterday. Fire chiefs refused to be drawn on what sparked the blaze, saying only that inquiries were at an early stage.
The British Automatic Fire Sprinklers Association, the industry body campaigning for all multiple-occupany buildings to have sprinklers installed, said some hotels chose not to put sprinklers in parts of their buildings.
“Automatic fire sprinklers do save lives and property and protect firefighters,” a spokesman told The Herald.
But John Gow, a senior investigator with International Fire Investigators and Consultants (IFIC) told the newspaper that it could not yet be argued that sprinklers would have saved lives in Cameron House as the full facts had still to emerge.
A spokesman for Cameron House said: “The hotel complies fully with all relevant fire safety regulations and its fire safety certificate is complete and up-to-date. We continue to co-operate with the emergency services as they investigate the cause.”
Midgley was a freelance journalist and regular contributor to the London Evening Standard. The newspaper’s editor, former chancellor George Osborne, was among those to pay tribute.
Dyson, who worked in TV production, was originally from Wetherby in West Yorkshire.