Date for inquest into fatal Cameron House fire could be set this week

A second preliminary hearing in an inquest into the tragic deaths of a couple in the Cameron House fire tragedy will take place tomorrow (May 3).

A virtual hearing will begin at Paisley Sheriff Court ahead of a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) into the deaths of Simon Midgley, 32, and Richard Dyson, 38.

Simon’s mother Jane has been fighting for answers since tragedy struck at the five-star resort on the shores of Loch Lomond on December 18, 2017.

She told the Lennox Herald this week that she hopes the second hearing will see a date set for the public inquiry.

In January she was left ‘smoke’ after traveling 500 miles from her home in Yorkshire for the first hearing – only to be told there was still no date.

Another hearing was scheduled to allow all parties to see an architect’s report, which was not ready at the time.

The mother spent four years demanding answers – including seven months for the hearing after an ISP was given the green light in June last year.

She said: ‘I feel really anxious about this and hopefully a date will be set which is not too far off as we have now been waiting for answers for four and a half years.

“I don’t know why it took so long to get to this point. I just hope there won’t be any more delays.

“We need this to happen soon so that lessons can be learned to prevent it from happening again.”

In January last year, hotel operator Cameron House Resort (Loch Lomond) Ltd was fined £500,000 and night porter Christopher O’Malley, 36, from Renton, was handed an order reimbursement from the community at Dumbarton Sheriff Court.

The court heard the fire started after O’Malley emptied ashes and embers from a fireplace into a polythene bag and placed it in a cabinet containing combustibles.

Cameron House Resort (Loch Lomond) Ltd admitted failing to take the necessary fire safety measures to ensure the safety of employees and guests between January 14, 2016 and December 18, 2017, while O’Malley, of Lennox Street, admitted to violating sections of health and safety laws.

Cameron House Resort (Loch Lomond) Ltd will participate in the FAI, along with night porter Christopher O’Malley, Andrew Roger, resort manager, and Fiona Meek, resort and security manager for Village Hotels.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Services will also be represented at the inquest, which is expected to last up to four weeks.

A Crown spokesperson said: “The Crown will continue to keep the families of those involved fully informed and answer any questions they may have about the process before and during the FAI.”