A FATAL accident inquiry (FAI) into the deaths of two men in a fire at Cameron House in 2017 is set to begin on Monday. 

The inquiry, held at Paisley Sheriff Court, will look into issues surrounding guest and fire safety at the hotel on the banks of Loch Lomond following the fatal fire in December 2017. 

Hotel operator Cameron House Resort (Loch Lomond) Ltd was previously fined £500,000 after the deaths of Simon Midgley, 32, and his partner Richard Dyson, 38, from London. 

Night porter Christopher O'Malley was given a community payback order over the fire. 

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said the purpose of the inquiry is not to “apportion blame” but to determine the cause of death and establish what lessons can be learned to minimise the risk of future deaths in similar circumstances. 

Unlike a criminal trial, the FIA system is inquisitorial rather than adversarial and is a fact-finding exercise.

The National: Simon Midgley and Richard Dyson both lost their lives in the fireSimon Midgley and Richard Dyson both lost their lives in the fire

The Sheriff hears all the evidence presented in court and listens to the witnesses before delivering their determination. 

In the determination, the presiding Sheriff can make recommendations to the parties involved, including suggestions about precautions which can be taken in future, improvements which could be made, or systems that should be put in place to prevent future deaths. 

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A spokesperson for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said: “COPFS understand that the wait for proceedings must have been extremely difficult and stressful for those affected. 

“We will continue to keep the families of those involved fully informed and answer any questions they may have about the process during the FAI.”

Dumbarton Sheriff Court heard in January last year that the fire started after O’Malley emptied ash and embers from a fuel fire into a polythene bag and placed it in a cupboard which contained combustibles including kindling and newspapers. 

The hotel operator and owner admitted failing to take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of employees and guests between January 14 2016 and December 18 2017. 

The company admitted two charges of breaching the Fir (Scotland) Act 2005. 

O’Malley admitted breaching sections of health and safety laws which relate to the obligation on an employee to take responsible care for the health and safety of people affected by their acts or omissions at work.