HAUNTED BY KILLER HO­TEL BLAZE

Fam­ily es­caped fire that claimed lives of pair in room next door

Daily Record - - FRONT PAGE - BY JACKIE GRANT

A MUM has told for the first time how her fam­ily cheated death in the Cameron House in­ferno.

Han­nah Munn, right, her hus­band and son, five, were next door to vic­tims Simon Midge­ley and Richard Dyson.

She said: “That could easi ly have been us.”

A MUM whose fam­ily cheated death in the Cameron House Ho­tel in­ferno has told of her tor­ment at wait­ing al­most three years with­out no news of what caused it.

Han­nah Munn, 45, her hus­band and young son were in the room next door to Simon Mid­g­ley, 32 and Richard Dyson, 38, who per­ished in the blaze.

She re­vealed her son, now eight, blames him­self for the de­ci­sion to visit the five-star venue on Loch Lomond.

And she told how the ho­tel stirred un­wel­come mem­o­ries by send­ing the fam­ily from Leeds a mar­ket­ing email invit­ing them to book a re­turn visit.

Speak­ing pub­licly for the first time, Han­nah told the Record: “It’s nearly three years down the line and while my anx­i­ety and pain can­not be com­pared to that of the par­ents who lost their chil­dren, I can’t re­lax un­til I know the cause.

“I must check at least three times a week for up­dates. For the first cou­ple of years it was daily.

“Given how close we were to not mak­ing it out, it feels like I have to know so I can pro­tect my fam­ily against any­thing hap­pen­ing like this again. I just need to know how it hap­pened.”

Han­nah, hus­band Matt, 50,

and their son, then five, were in the suite next door to Simon and Richard on De­cem­ber 18, 2017.

She said: “We’d been sup­posed to be on hol­i­day in La­p­land but Monarch air­lines went bust and we de­cided to go some­where else.

“We’d been at Cameron House be­fore for our lit­tle boy’s birth­day so he de­cided he wanted to go back. “After the fire, he blamed him­self for mak­ing the choice to go there. “He’s eight now and still strug­gles at night, wor­ry­ing about fires and be­ing able to es­cape. We were in the suite next door to the two young men who lost their lives. “It doesn’t es­cape me that that could eas­ily have been us.

“I be­lieve it’s only be­cause we are early ris­ers and were awake when the alarm went off around 6.20am, that we’re still alive.”

When the Munns saw smoke com­ing un­der their door, they fled down­stairs to re­cep­tion.

Han­nah said: “I saw the Christ­mas trees on fire and be­cause there was fire and smoke ev­ery­where, we couldn’t get out.

“We ran back up­stairs but it was like a maze in there. I can’t de­scribe what it was like. It was just hor­rific.”

By the time the fam­ily were back up­stairs, the stair­well had caught fire.

Han­nah said: “We then heard one of the man­agers from out­side who had opened a fire door, call­ing us. We went to­wards the voice and fi­nally got out. It felt like hours but was no doubt only min­utes. He helped save our lives.”

A to­tal of 200 guests had to be evac­u­ated from the build­ing. Six peo­ple were taken to hospi­tal but jour­nal­ist and PR man­ager Simon and TV pro­ducer Richard died.

Han­nah said she was stunned to re­ceive pub­lic­ity emails from the ho­tel urg­ing former guests to book an­other hol­i­day.

She said: “I was hor­ri­fied to re­ceive emails about them be­ing back up and run­ning and asked them to take me off their mail­ing list.

“It’s like noth­ing ever hap­pened. They can carry on trad­ing while we are still wait­ing for an­swers about what hap­pened.” Last month, Simon’s mum Jane Mid­g­ley said she had been in “1000 days of agony” with no an­swers over what caused the fire.

The Crown Of­fice re­ceived fi­nal re­ports from the Scot­tish Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice and Po­lice Scot­land in March but has yet to make a de­ci­sion on le­gal pro­ceed­ings.

Jane said: “I can’t go an­other Christ­mas with­out an­swers. Why could 200 other peo­ple be evac­u­ated out of that ho­tel but Simon and Richard couldn’t? It’s one of many ques­tions and needs an­swer­ing.”

Han­nah agrees. She said: “Not know­ing the cause re­ally makes it worse.

“At least we are alive and didn’t lose any­body but I’m ob­sessed with find­ing out what caused the fire. I’d urge the Crown Of­fice to just tell us what hap­pened as soon as pos­si­ble. It’s not right that we still don’t know.”

Last night, the Crown Of­fice said: “Our staff have been in reg­u­lar con­tact with the near­est rel­a­tives and pro­vided them with in­for­ma­tion at ev­ery stage.

“The in­for­ma­tion that can be shared while a case is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated is limited so as not to prej­u­dice any po­ten­tial pro­ceed­ings.

“The Crown is com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing the facts and cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the deaths of Simon Mid­g­ley and Richard Dyson are thor­oughly in­ves­ti­gated.

“The near­est rel­a­tives will con­tinue to be kept up­dated in re­la­tion to any sig­nif­i­cant de­vel­op­ments.”

Cameron House Ho­tel was ap­proached for com­ment.

We were next door and it doesn’t es­cape me that could eas­ily have been us

TRAGEDY Richard and Simon lost their lives in ho­tel fire

LUCKY TO BE ALIVE Han­nah and hus­band Matt es­caped with their son PER­ISHED Richard and Simon were trapped in room next to Munn fam­ily

ABLAZE Fire­fight­ers tackle fire at ho­tel

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