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Monday, June 17, 2024

Victims of Perth hotel fire tragedy named

Sharon McLean, Donna Janse Van Rensburg and Keith RussellPolice Scotland

Three people who died in a fire at a hotel in Perth have been named by police.

The bodies of sisters Donna Janse Van Rensburg, 44, and Sharon McLean, 47, both from Aberdeen, and Keith Russell, 38, originally from Edinburgh, were discovered at the New County Hotel after the blaze on Monday.

Mr Russell’s family described him as a “loving father”.

Police Scotland said an investigation was ongoing.

Ms Van Rensburg’s dog Joey, a three year-old King Charles spaniel, also died.

Donna Janse Van Rensburg and her dog Joey

Police Scotland

Both families have asked for privacy.

In a statement, Mr Russell’s family said: “Keith was a loving father and loved by all his family. He will be greatly missed.”

Ch Supt Phil Davison said a joint investigation with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was continuing.

“Our thoughts continue to be with the family and friends of those who died as well as the many people affected by this incident,” he said.

“I would like to again thank all the emergency services and partner agencies involved as well as the local community for their patience while inquiries are carried out.”

New County Hotel

The alarm was raised at about 05:10 on 2 January, leading to a huge response from the emergency services. There were 21 ambulance crews, 60 firefighters and nine fire appliances at the scene at its peak.

About 16 hotel guests and two people from neighbouring flats were evacuated.

Eleven people were treated at the scene by the Scottish Ambulance Service.

The fire was extinguished at about 06:30 and the three bodies were discovered in a subsequent search.

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