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Friday, May 9, 2014

OBAN - 1973

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On July 24, 1973, a hotel fire on the Scotish seafront claimed 10 lives.

It was Scotland's deadliest hotel fire since the end of World War II and led to reforms in U.K. safety regulations.

In the House of Commons, Gordon Campbell, secretary of state for Scotland, told the chamber:

"Just after four o'clock this morning a fire call was received from the police about a fire at the Esplanade Hotel, Oban"

"The fire station at Oban turned out two fire engines immediately and at the same time summoned assistance which was provided from Lochgilphead and Inveraray.

"When the Oban fire engines arrived at the hotel they saw flames coming from the upper floors and in the roof."

Oban's part-time fire crew raised ladders to rescue guests perched on ledges and one ladder snapped in the heat.

The hotel wasn't up to safety standards.

Hotel Owner Ian Nicholson told the Daily Record:

"I knew it was a fire risk. I only wish I could turn the clock back. I had been told to carry out extensive modifications, but I postponed them because of costs."