Cameron House Hotel Fire: Inquiry told hotel did not hold fire drills at night

Management at a hotel where two guests died in a blaze did not hold fire drills at night, an inquiry has heard.

Jane Midgley (left) and Nicola Midgley (right), mother and sister respectively of victim Simon Midgley, arrive at Paisley Sheriff Court.
Jane Midgley (left) and Nicola Midgley (right), mother and sister respectively of victim Simon Midgley, arrive at Paisley Sheriff Court.

Andy Roger, 43, was resort director at the Cameron House hotel, near Balloch, on the shores of Loch Lomond, at the time of the fire in December 2017.

Simon Midgley, 32, and his partner, Richard Dyson, 38, from London, died in the blaze.

Hide Ad

Night porter Christopher O'Malley emptied ash and embers from a fuel fire into a plastic bag, and then put it in a cupboard of kindling and newspapers, a Fatal Accident Inquiry taking place at Paisley Sheriff Court has heard previously.

Mr Roger told the inquiry that they did not do fire drills at night, and when asked by Sheriff Thomas McCartney what time they were held, was told: "We generally took them around 10.30 to 11 in the morning or three or four in the afternoon. Between 10 and four, generally, the hours of the drills."

Hide Ad

Questioned by Crown counsel Graeme Jessop about roll-play drills after hours, Mr Roger said: "That was not something we did, in hindsight that's something we have done differently, we have done silent drills since we re-opened to capture that."

As part of the evacuation plan, workers were instructed to pick up a bag which included equipment to help with the roll-call of guests. However, on the night, as the intensity of the fire in reception grew, it was left behind.

Hide Ad

Mr Roger was asked by the Mr Jessop if there was any back-up.

"A duplicate of equipment? Not that I can recall," he told the court, before adding many of its systems were cloud-based and could be accessed from a laptop.

Hide Ad

The inquiry was told about the hotel's fire plan which, under its general section, stated: "Combustible material of any kind must not be stored in general electrical or boiler rooms."

Hotel operator Cameron House Resort (Loch Lomond) Ltd was previously fined £500,000, with night porter Christopher O'Malley given a community payback order over the fire.

Hide Ad

Dumbarton Sheriff Court heard in January last year that the fire started after O'Malley emptied ash and embers from a fuel fire into a polythene bag, and then put it in a cupboard of kindling and newspapers.

The hotel firm admitted failing to take the necessary fire safety measures to ensure the safety of its guests and employees between January 14 2016 and December 18 2017.

Hide Ad

The company admitted two charges of breaching the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005.

O'Malley admitted breaching sections of health and safety laws which relate to the obligation on an employee to take reasonable care for the health and safety of people affected by their acts or omissions at work.

Hide Ad

The inquiry continues.