A UNIVERSITY has paid tribute to one of its alumni who tragically died in a hotel fire in Scotland before Christmas.

Richard Dyson, 38, was killed in the blaze which took hold of the Cameron House Hotel in Loch Lomond, Scotland on December 18.

His boyfriend, Simon Midgley, 32, also perished in the fire which needed 40 firefighters and 12 fire engines to bring it under control.

Mr Dyson, a television producer, had studied at Royal Holloway, University of London, for four years until 2003 as a student in the Department of Media Arts. It is understood he completed both an undergraduate and postgraduate course at the Egham university and had worked for the BBC.

A statement from Royal Holloway said: "We are deeply saddened by the news of the tragic death of Richard Dyson. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time."

The couple had been on a pre-Christmas holiday on the shores of the Loch when tragedy struck at the luxury hotel. Around 200 guests had to be evacuated from the building, seven of whom had to be taken to hospital. Firefighters also battled to save a family from their bedroom window.

The cause of the fire is still unknown and an investigation continues.

A statement from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said: "A joint investigation with Police Scotland into the cause of a fire at Cameron House Hotel is ongoing.

"Two people sadly passed away following the serious fire which had taken hold within the hotel near Alexandria, Loch Lomond.

"At its height more than 40 firefighters and 12 appliances were mobilised to the scene after the alarm was raised at 6.41am on Monday, December 18.

"Firefighters worked in difficult conditions while wearing breathing apparatus and used high powered hoses to tackle the flames."

David McGown, assistant chief officer and incident commander for the fire service, said: "Our deepest condolences are with everyone who has been affected this tragic event and our thoughts are with the friends and families of the two people who have passed away.

"Our firefighters worked in extremely difficult circumstances to bring this fire under control and prevent further fire spread and they must be commended for their actions.”