Cameron House Fire: Yorkshire men 'unlawfully killed' in 2017 Scottish hotel fire

Richard Dyson (left) and Simon Midgely were killed when the Cameron House Hotel caught fire. Credit: Family Photo

Two men from West Yorkshire were unlawfully killed when they died in a fire at a luxury Scottish hotel, a coroner has concluded.

Simon Midgley, 32, and his partner Richard Dyson, 38, died when the five-star Cameron House Hotel on the banks of Loch Lomond was engulfed in flames in December 2017.

Mr Midgley's mother Jane told the hearing that her son, who ran his own travel PR and journalism business, phoned her from the hotel on December 17 saying the couple were "having a fabulous time".

She told court he said: "I'm drowning in dreams, mother dear. And I promise you life is going to be good from now on."

Mrs Midgley, from Pudsey, Leeds, said her son told her: "I'm so looking forward to spending Christmas with you. Don't forget my pigs-in-blankets."

Wakefield senior coroner Kevin McLoughlin outlined the basic details of how the blaze started at the hotel after a night porter put a bag full of embers in a cupboard.

The coroner also said he was puzzled why Scottish prosecutors had taken three years to conclude a criminal case when it was clear from footage shown on media reports how the fire had begun.

The fire at the hotel in December 2017. Credit: STV/ITV News

Earlier this year, hotel operator Cameron House Resort (Loch Lomond) was fined £500,000 and night porter Christopher O'Malley was given a community payback order after admitting fire safety offences.

Mrs Midgley told the court she was still waiting to hear whether there would be a fatal accident inquiry in Scotland and, asked if there should be she said, "100%", adding she would continue to campaign for it.

She said the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) continued to tell her she could not have documents relating to the case due to confidentiality, which the coroner told her would not happen in England.

Mr Dyson's father Roger, from Wetherby, West Yorkshire, told the coroner his family also wanted a fatal accident inquiry but this was "in limbo".

He said his son, who was an assistant TV director, was a "gentle loving person who was living life and loving life".

Roger Dyson told the inquest he thought the fine handed to the hotel company was "derisory".

The inquiry heard that the hotel had been warned about fire safety. Credit: STV/ITV News

The coroner said he was concerned by evidence he heard about how the guest list was left inside the hotel during the evacuation and there was a gap of more than an hour between firefighters arriving and them working out Mr Dyson and Mr Midgley were missing.

The coroner said he will copy Scottish authorities into his report, and the issue "deserves explanation and consideration".

Mr McLoughlin said he had decided he could safely conclude both men had been unlawfully killed, despite there being no manslaughter prosecution in Scotland.

He said one key element of this decision was that the hotel had been "expressly warned" about slack procedures for dealing with embers from open fires.