Cameron House fire: Family and friends pay tribute to couple

Family, friends and colleagues have paid tribute to the couple killed by a fire at one of Scotland's most prestigious hotels.

Richard Dyson and Simon Midgley were holidaying on the west coast of Scotland

Simon Midgley and Richard Dyson died following a blaze at the five-star Cameron House resort on the banks of Loch Lomond on Monday.

The couple lived together in North London and were holidaying in the west of Scotland, having also spent time in Glasgow.

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Emergency services remained at the scene on Wednesday as investigations continue to establish the cause of the tragedy, which saw more than 200 guests evacuated at around 6.40am.

Richard Dyson and Simon Midgley were holidaying on the west coast of Scotland

Fire chiefs refused to be drawn on what sparked the blaze, saying only that inquiries were at an early stage.

Midgley was a freelance journalist and regular contributor to the London Evening Standard. The newspaper’s editor, former chancellor George Osborne, paid tribute today.

“The team here are very sad to hear the awful news about Simon and Richard. We will miss Simon’s adventurous spirit,” he said. “Everyone sends our thoughts and prayers to his family at this impossible time.”

David Tomchak, digital director at the Standard, said: “Simon was a talented writer with a natural charm and curiosity. The Evening Standard will miss him sorely.”

Cameron House is one of Scotland's best known hotels

A friend of the couple, Jackie Daly, wrote on Twitter: “I am beyond sad at the news that Simon Midgley and his boyfriend Richard passed away in the fire at Cameron House.

“I feel compelled to say how lovely Simon was. He was so kind, positive and full of fun. Heartbreaking.”

Dyson, who worked in TV production, was originally from from Wetherby in West Yorkshire.

The Dyson family’s minister, John Payne, of Hope Church in Harrogate, said in a statement posted online: “I’m afraid I’m writing with the tragic news that Roger Dyson’s son was one of the fatalities in the Loch Lomond fire today.

Richard Dyson and Simon Midgley were holidaying on the west coast of Scotland

“As you can imagine both Roger and Val are devastated. They have asked us to pray for them and the family.

“Please pray for them, for the God of all comfort to make his presence so powerfully known in the midst of their pain. Our hearts go out to them and I’m sure they’d welcome your love and support at this awful time.”

The Royal Holloway University of London also paid tribute to Dyson, who was a former student.

The university said: “We are very sorry to hear of the death of our alumnus Richard Dyson, who was tragically killed with his partner in a fire on Monday at the Cameron House Hotel. Condolences to his and Simon’s families.”

Cameron House is one of Scotland's best known hotels

More than 70 firefighters were involved in fighting the blaze at the Cameron House, which offers unrivaled views of Loch Lomond and has welcomed a number of stars from the worlds of film and music as guests over the years.

The hotel is owned by US investment firm KSL Capital Partners. The company reportedly paid around £70m for the 132-room property in 2015, before undertaking an extensive refurbishment.