HAUNTED BY KILLER HOTEL BLAZE
Family escaped fire that claimed lives of pair in room next door
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