By Sally Underwood • 29 January 2021 • 13:53
Blaze Victims: Two men, Richard Dyson and Simon Midgley, died in the fire. Image: Facebook
Christopher O’Malley, 35, received a community payback order after it was found he placed a plastic bag of ash in a cupboard containing kindling and newspapers before a fire broke out at the Scottish hotel.
O’Malley must now carry out 300 hours of unpaid work after he admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act.
The blaze took place in December 2017 when more than 200 guests were staying at the hotel on the banks of Loch Lomond, West Dunbartonshire.
The fire alarm initially sounded at around 6.40am and firefighters arrived within 10 minutes to find a “well-developed” fire. It was only after 8am that guests Richard Dyson, 38, and Simon Midgley, 32, were found to be missing.
Firefighters later found Mr Dyson on a landing at the top of a staircase and Mr Midgley lying in a fire escape passageway.
Cameron House previously pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to take fire safety measures after the Dumbarton Sheriff Court heard staff had not been properly trained in disposing of ash.
The day before the blaze, O’Malley had discovered the hotel’s outside ash bins were full and instead placed them in a cupboard.
The court heard the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service had told managers not to store combustibles – like kindling and newspapers – in the cupboards earlier in 2017, but staff continued to do so.
Mr O’Malley has since said he deeply regretted his actions and that they had not been deliberate.
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Sally Underwood is a former aide to several former cabinet members and now contributes her views on Parliament’s ever-changing shape in her column for the Euro Weekly News.
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