Inquiry into fatal Cameron House hotel fire to begin in August

04 May 2022 by
Inquiry into fatal Cameron House hotel fire to begin in August

A Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) into a fire at Cameron House hotel in Scotland that claimed two lives is to begin in August.

Simon Midgley, 32, and his partner, Richard Dyson, 38, from London, died in the blaze at the five-AA-star property on the banks of Loch Lomond on 18 December 2017.

Hotel operator Cameron House Resort (Loch Lomond) was fined £500,000 and night porter Christopher O'Malley was given a community payback order over the fire at Dumbarton Sheriff Court in January 2021.

At a continued preliminary hearing, which took place virtually on Tuesday, Sheriff Thomas McCartney agreed the FAI will begin at Paisley Sheriff Court on 15 August and will take place in person rather than virtually.

Crown Counsel Graeme Jessop told the hearing that Midgley's mother Jane Midgley had a "strong preference" for the FAI to be in person.

Mrs Midgley said: "Four and a half years on it is a long time for things to be put right and for changes to be made, if any.

"It's been my worst nightmare, waiting for answers, waiting to see what is going to happen next, will there be any changes, why has it taken so long, why does it take all this time – these questions need to be asked.

"Two young men lost their lives and four and a half years on what has changed? What legislation has changed and what has changed in health and safety in Scotland?"

Three weeks have been set aside for the FAI and there will be a further preliminary hearing in late June.

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 placed it in a cupboard which contained combustibles including kindling and newspapers.

Cameron House admitted failing to take the fire safety measures necessary to ensure the safety of employees and guests between 14 January 2016 and 18 December 2017.

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.

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