Cameron Home inquiry: Night time supervisor tells of ‘horror’ at porter clearing ashes

Cameron Home inquiry: Night time supervisor tells of ‘horror’ at porter clearing ashes


night time supervisor informed the inquiry right into a deadly fireplace at a luxurious lodge in 2017 she was “completely horrified” when she noticed a porter clearing out the ashes of a log fireplace utilizing a plastic bin bag.

Giving proof on the inquiry into the devastating blaze at Cameron Home, close to Balloch, on the banks of Loch Lomond on December 18 2017, night time supervisor Ann Rundell mentioned she challenged the porter when she noticed him clearing out the ashes of a log fireplace throughout the reception space a couple of days earlier.

The fireplace claimed the lives of Simon Midgley, 32 and his accomplice, Richard Dyson, 38, from London.

Ms Rundell informed Paisley Sheriff Court docket she challenged night time porter Raymond Burns and, when requested what she had mentioned to him, replied: “I mentioned to him, ‘what the f*** do you assume you’re doing?’

Night time supervisor Ann Rundell has been giving proof on the Deadly Accident Inquiry into the Cameron Home lodge fireplace (Andrew Milligan/PA) / PA Wire

“I used to be completely horrified.”

However Ms Rundell was later challenged on this account when the court docket was performed CCTV footage of December 15 2017.

The footage confirmed Mr Burns eradicating the ashes in a transparent bag.

The court docket was additionally proven CCTV footage from the lodge on November 29 2017, when Mr Burns was proven clearing the ashes from the fireplace, once more, utilizing a transparent plastic bag with water inside.

Simon Midgley, proper, and Richard Dyson died within the blaze (Household handout/PA). / PA Media

Ms Rundell appeared to look at him finishing up this activity, however didn’t seem to problem him on this.

She informed the court docket: “I can guarantee you that dialog happened.”

Throughout Ms Rundell’s proof, the court docket heard how employees obtained no formal coaching on clearing the embers from the log fires Cameron Home had of their grill, bar and reception space.

Ms Rundell mentioned gear was not maintained and employees would typically must receive chafing dishes and ice buckets from different components of the lodge.

The fireplace induced in depth injury to the lodge close to Balloch (Crown Workplace/PA) / PA Media

A number of weeks earlier than the fireplace, a metallic bucket that had beforehand been used to clear ashes was lacking a deal with, which Ms Rundell knew about, however believed it was the duty of the day shift to exchange.

She was later requested about an instruction to not retailer flammable supplies within the concierge’s cabinet, the place objects similar to newspaper and kindling have been stored.

She informed the court docket she didn’t recall being given the instruction to not retailer flammable objects within the cabinet.

The court docket additionally heard how employees have been educated by extra skilled members of the staff.

Night time employees working on the lodge didn’t take part in fireplace drills repeatedly.

Ms Rundell mentioned employees have been anticipated to “use widespread sense” and discovered by means of “phrase of mouth” what they have been anticipated to do within the occasion of an emergency.

She was requested if there was ever an try to offer the right gear to employees members.

“No,” she replied.

The inquiry later heard how a fireplace threat evaluation from 2016 confirmed there was no written coverage in place for disposing of ashes from open fires and grills and said some employees didn’t know the way to do that.

Fiona Meek, the danger and security supervisor for Village Accommodations, the group liable for the Cameron Home Resort, mentioned threat assessments would happen as soon as yearly and he or she would supply assist to the resort supervisor to implement well being and security insurance policies.

Hearth checks can be carried out by a 3rd get together firm and findings forwarded on to lodge administration.

Ms Meek informed the inquiry she didn’t test these had been carried out.

In a subsequent threat evaluation, the corporate submitted a report stating suggestions from 2016 had not but been put in place.

Nonetheless, the resort supervisor challenged this and despatched an e-mail to Ms Meek, which was seen by the inquiry, stating suggestions had been put in place.

Ms Meek was requested if she had verified whether or not suggestions had been carried out to which she informed the inquiry she had not as a result of the corporate agreed with the resort supervisor {that a} mistake had been made.

She mentioned: “If the response had come again as totally different, I’d have requested additional questions.”

Later, Ms Meek was requested about improved security measures the lodge had put in place for the reason that deadly fireplace in 2017.

She said {that a} new sprinkler system had been put in place in addition to enhanced security coaching for workers members and administration. She couldn’t inform the inquiry what this consisted of.

Previous to the blaze in 2017, Ms Meek visited the location on a quarterly foundation, however suggested she now visits on a month-to-month foundation.

Resort operator Cameron Home Resort (Loch Lomond) Ltd was beforehand fined £500,000, and night time porter Christopher O’Malley was given a neighborhood payback order over the fireplace.

Dumbarton Sheriff Court docket heard in January final yr that the fireplace began after O’Malley emptied ash and embers from a gasoline fireplace right into a polythene bag, after which put it in a cabinet of kindling and newspapers.

The lodge firm admitted failing to take the mandatory fireplace security measures to make sure the security of its visitors and workers between January 14 2016 and December 18 2017.

The inquiry at Paisley Sheriff Court docket earlier than Sheriff Thomas McCartney, continues.

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