Guardian News and Media Edinburgh
Two people have died and three more are being treated in hospital after a fire took hold in a luxury hotel on the banks of Loch Lomond, Scotland.
More than 200 guests were evacuated from the Cameron House hotel, near Balloch, and the Scottish fire and rescue service said it was still on the scene yesterday afternoon, with firefighters searching the building and tackling flames in its roof from an aerial unit.
Police Scotland confirmed that one person died at the scene, while another died at the Royal Alexandra hospital in Paisley. The Scottish ambulance service said two adults and one child were also taken to the Queen Elizabeth University hospital in Glasgow and police said some other guests had been treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.
“We received a call at 06.44 yesterday to attend an incident at the Cameron House hotel,” a spokeswoman for the ambulance service said. “We dispatched four ambulances, our special operations response team and the trauma team to the scene.”
The hotel, which is on the west bank of the loch – about 17 miles north-west of Glasgow – said it would remain closed for at least the next 48 hours. The hotel’s management said on Facebook that the fire took hold “within the main building”.
The BBC reported some staff members had only learned about the fire when they turned up for their shifts at the five-star hotel yesterday morning.
One worker told the broadcaster she did not believe reports of the blaze until she saw it for herself. “It’s a really lovely hotel, I’m so sorry to see this,” she said.
The hotel is one of the most luxurious in Scotland and has been used as a base by the Scottish national football team. It is also a popular wedding venue and houses the Michelin-starred Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond restaurant.
A police spokeswoman said: “Officers remain at the scene and are working with other emergency services to establish the exact circumstances of the incident … A report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.”
Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, tweeted: “This is absolutely dreadful news. My heart goes out to the loved ones of those who have died and all those affected. My thanks also to our brave firefighters and emergency services.”
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