Two dead in Loch Lomond hotel fire

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Media captionFootage of the fire at Cameron House

Two people have died after a fire at the Cameron House Hotel beside Loch Lomond.

More than 200 guests were evacuated from the hotel after the alarm was raised at about 06.40.

Police said one person was pronounced dead at the scene while another person died after being taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley.

A further three people were taken to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow for treatment.

Police Scotland said the hotel, near Balloch, had been extensively damaged.

A number of guests were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.

One guest told BBC Radio Scotland how she thought the fire alarm was a drill at first.

Ainsley Huxman said: “As soon as we left our room – I just thought it was a fire alarm, just like a practise go.

“But when we left – five stairs down from our room – we saw a whole room full of smoke and flames.

“So we had to run back down the hall, chapped on everyone’s doors and shouted ‘fire!’.”

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Emergency services working at the scene of the fire watched by guests

She added: “We got out within five minutes of the fire brigade getting called.

“And by the time we had got outside, the whole field was full of people.”

Pictures from the scene show smoke and flames coming from the hotel.

Photographs show guests standing outside the hotel as firefighters raise ladders to the upper floors of the building.

Staff and guests are understood to have been evacuated from the luxury hotel.

Workers have started turning up for their shifts at Cameron House, but are not getting past the entrance.

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Smoke could be seen coming from the hotel several hours after the fire started

One woman who works in the kitchen told the BBC news website she just heard about the fire as she was getting ready for work.

She said didn’t believe the news until she came down and saw the smoke.

“It’s a really lovely hotel,” she said.

“I’m so sorry to see this.”

The owner of the nearby Duck Bay Hotel has offered to provide tea, coffee and refreshments to emergency services at the scene.

Guests are being sheltered in the hotel’s Boathouse restaurant while the situation is ongoing.

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Smoke rises over Loch Lomond from the fire, as seen from Balloch

A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We received a call at 0:644 today to attend an incident at the Cameron House Hotel.

“We dispatched four ambulances, our special operations response team and the trauma team to the scene.

“Three patients, two adults and one child, were taken to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

“A fourth patient was taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital.”

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said it had deployed 12 appliances to the scene.

A spokeswoman said: “Firefighters are currently in the process of searching the building while fighting the fire using powerful water jets.

“The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service remains in attendance.”

Cameron House is one of Scotland’s most luxurious hotels, with views across Loch Lomond.

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Cameron House

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Cameron House situated by Loch Lomond is one of Scotland’s most prestigious hotels

The venue offers a romantic location for weddings, a championship standard course for golfers and five-star facilities for guests.

The chef Martin Wishart has a Michelin-starred restaurant at the hotel.

Cameron House is owned by US investment firm KSL Capital Partners, which was reported to have paid between £70 million and £80m for the 132-room property in 2015.

A statement on the hotel’s website read: “Due to an ongoing incident please be aware that Cameron House will remain closed to arriving guests for at least the next 48 hours.

“We would ask all guests and customers to remain patient as we work with the emergency services to establish the extent of the damage and ascertain when we will be able to re-open.

“More information will follow in due course.”

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