THE five-star luxury hotel in which two men died following a major blaze did not have a sprinkler system, the Herald understands.

But Cameron House has insisted that it was "fully compliant with all relevant fire safety regulations".

Police and fire service investigations are continuing after Simon Midgley, 32, and Richard Dyson, 38, from north London died after the blaze at the Cameron House Hotel on Monday morning.


A recently-married couple and their young son were rescued from an upper floor of the building by firefighters.

Confirmation that there was no sprinkler system, has emerged in the wake of the Grenfell Tower blaze which killed 71 people and a row over there being no sprinklers or fire alarms.

A review of fire safety after the Grenfell Tower blaze found that building regulations were leaving room for shortcuts with Dame Judith Hackitt, who led the probe saying she was "shocked" by some of the practices. She said the whole system of fire safety regulation regarding complex and high-rise buildings was "not fit for purpose".

Fire brigades around the country have championed the installation of sprinkler systems for commercial buildings saying that in the UK there has never been a fire death in a building with a fully maintained system.

In Scotland all new care homes, sheltered housing and high rise residential accommodation taller than 18m must be fitted with sprinklers but there is no legislation insisting on retrofitting older properties.


The British Automatic Fire Sprinklers Association, the industry trade association which is campaigning for all multiple-occupancy buildings including hotels to have sprinkler systems said: "Had sprinklers been fitted [at Cameron House] they would have controlled the fire or extinguished it.

"There are hotels that choose to put sprinklers in part of their buildings. It's an interesting dilemma that hotel owners don't seem to look at this.

"Automatic fire sprinklers do save lives and property and protect firefighters."

John Gow, who served almost 31 years with Strathclyde Fire Rescue Service and is now a senior investigator with International Fire Investigators and Consultants (IFIC) said it could not yet be argued that sprinklers would have saved lives in Cameron House because the full facts of the causes of the fire were not yet available.


He said: "Judging by the scale of the Cameron House fire I made an assumption that it was unlikely that there were sprinklers, because sprinklers are effective in containing fires and containing them to a room or an area of origin, which is there purpose."

Regulation in Scotland to require sprinklers in care homes, residential care homes and high rise residential accommodation was tightened 13 years ago following the number of lives lost in the fire at the Rosepark nursing home in Uddingston in which 14 elderly residents lost their lives.

A Cameron House spokesman said: "The hotel complies fully with all relevant fire safety regulations and its fire safety certification is complete and up-to-date.

"We continue to co-operate with the emergency services, as they investigate the cause of this tragic incident."

Fact sheets about sprinklers posted online by some regional fire brigades say that losses from fires in buildings with sprinklers are estimated to be only one tenth of those in unprotected buildings.

They claim that sprinkler systems also protect the lives of firefighters.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service have a five-year-old  demonstration video as well as the online 'facts' sheet in what it calls a "proactive" endorsement of the installation of sprinkler systems in "domestic, educational, industrial, commercial and residential premises".

It estimates the costs of a sprinkler system can be recovered over a period of about 10 years through reduced insurance premiums and in larger organisations through less disruption to the business continuity when a fire occurs. Installation of a sprinkler system in a new building should not cost more than one to two per cent of the total build cost. To fit a system in an existing house would cost £2000.

The fact sheet also says that statistics show that widespread use of sprinklers could save up to 96 per cent of the 5.6 billion litres of water used annually in the UK to fight large fires. They say that is equivalent to three months supply of water for the entire population of a city the size of Leeds.


Aftermath of the Cameron House fire

In a separate section titled 'Myths' it debunks the belief that water damage is as bad as the fire damage. It says that a typical sprinkler discharges 55 litres per minute, while a firefighting hose discharges over 600 litres per minute. They advise that users can expect a sprinkler to discharge less than five per cent of the water used by the fire service.

Meanwhile John Payne of the Hope Church in Harrogate said the parents of Mr Dyson have been left devastated by his death.

Mr Payne said Mr Dyson's parents were members of the congregation and said they had asked for prayers to be said for the family.