03 January 2023

Investigations continue after three killed in hotel blaze

03 January 2023

Investigations are continuing into a blaze which claimed the lives of three people at a hotel.

Emergency services were called to the New County Hotel in Perth just after 5am on Monday.

Three people and a dog died in the blaze, which more than 60 firefighters were involved in tackling at the height of the incident.

Guests were evacuated, as were two people staying in a neighbouring block of flats.

Manju Prasanna, from Sri Lanka, fled from the hotel with his wife and four-year-old daughter.

The 38-year-old told The Courier: “One person was shouting loudly that there’s a fire. I heard the fire alarm go off at 4.30am.

“I came to my door with my wife and kid. I came out the building and there were flames.

“My kid was screaming loudly at the time.”

Eleven people were treated at the scene but did not need hospital treatment.

Police remain at the hotel on Tuesday and cordons are in place around the area.

Tents which had been put in place by emergency services outside the hotel have been removed, and inside the building investigators in hard hats could be seen.

Blue plastic sheeting covered windows on the top floor of the building.

Tributes have poured in for those killed, led by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

In a post on Twitter, she described it as a “sad and shocking incident”.

She said: “My deepest condolences are with the bereaved and my thoughts with all those involved.

“I am also hugely grateful to the firefighters who responded and to our other emergency services.”

Perth and Kinross Provost Xander McDade said: “On behalf of all councillors and staff, our thoughts are with the family and friends of the three people who passed away following the fire at the New County Hotel.

“This tragic incident is not the way any of us would want to see 2023 begin and my heartfelt condolences go to everyone impacted by this fire.”

Scottish Deputy First Minister John Swinney described the fatalities as “heart-breaking news”.

Mr Swinney, the MSP for Perthshire North, tweeted: “My sympathies with all affected by this tragedy.”

Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service have launched a joint investigation into the incident.

Jason Sharp, the fire service’s area commander, said it was a “very complex incident”.

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