§ Mr. Hector Hughes
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the recent fire accident in Stornoway resulting in the deaths of four Aberdeen schoolteachers, including Aberdeen's organiser of education; and 387W what precautions were taken by the services under his authority to prevent disasters and loss of this kind.
§ Mr. Ross
Investigations are still being carried out by the firemaster of the Northern Area Fire Brigade. I have called for a full report as soon as this can be made available. I take this opportunity of expressing my sympathy with the relatives of those who lost their lives.
Publicity is regularly undertaken to warn the public of the main causes of fire and the best means of preventing it. Brigades also provide, on request, fire prevention advice in respect of all types of premises; and an inspection of the Caledonian Hotel, Stornoway, was undertaken some years ago as a result of which improved means of escape from the upper storeys of the building were provided. I understand, however, that the spread of fire was so rapid that the victims were trapped before the available means of escape could be utilised.