Three people and dog reported dead in early-morning hotel blaze

Three people and a dog are reported to have died in an early-morning hotel blaze in Perth and Kinross.

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

Police Scotland confirmed a “number of guests” had been evacuated from the building in the city centre.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney described the fatalities as “heartbreaking news”.

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

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His comments came after Police Scotland confirmed: “Shortly before 5.10am on Monday, January 2, 2023, police were called to a report of a fire at the New County Hotel, County Place, Perth.

“Emergency services are at the scene.

“A number of guests have been evacuated from the hotel.

“Members of the public are being asked to avoid the area.”

Roads around the hotel were closed off as as the emergency services responded, with Perth and Kinross Council also advising people to avoid the area.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) said it had sent nine appliances to the scene after the alarm was raised at 5.02am.

A spokesperson for the SFRS said: “We are currently in attendance alongside emergency service partners at a commercial building fire at County Place in Perth.”

Meanwhile, a Scottish Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We received a call from Scottish Fire and Rescue Service of a fire at the New County Hotel in Perth at 05:05hrs.

“We responded with 21 resources including our special operation resource team, with our first resource on scene at 05:12hrs.”