THREE people and a dog have died in a major fire at a hotel in Perth. 

Emergency services were called to reports of a fire at the New County Hotel, County Place, around 5.10am on Monday morning. 

Police confirmed a number of guests were evacuated from the hotel and asked members of the public to avoid the area. 

A spokesperson for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) confirmed at least three people and a dog have died in the fire. 

Nine appliances were sent to the scene after the alarm was raised. 

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Police Scotland and the SFRS have launched a joint investigation into the incident. 

Chief Superintendent Phil Davison said: "Our thoughts are very much with the families and loved ones of those who have died at what is a very difficult time for everyone. 

"Our enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances of what has happened and officers are conducting a joint investigation with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service."

Davison added 11 people had treatment at the scene but they did not need to go to hospital as well as confirming that a dog died at the scene. 

He said: “I would like to thank the police officers, fire officers and ambulance personnel that responded to this incident this morning for their professionalism in response and to our partner agencies for the support that is being provided.”

He further called for “patience from the local community” as “local roads may remain closed for some time”. 

At the height of the fire, nine appliances and more than 60 firefighters were in attendance. 

Jason Sharp, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service area commander for Perth, Kinross, Angus and Dundee said: “This was a very complex incident where three people were pronounced dead at the scene. 

“Our thoughts are very much with the immediate family and friends at this difficult time. Our firefighters worked extremely hard in a very complex and challenging environment to prevent the further spread of fire and damage where possible. 

“I would like to thank our crews and our other emergency partners and local authority for their support.”

Fire crews are currently still in attendance to make sure the scene is safe. 

Sharp added: “Our firefighters and community action teams have and will continue to engage to ensure safety in this area and we will continue to work closely with stakeholders and Police Scotland in any subsequent investigation.”

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Perth and Kinross Council also announced on social media that roads in the surrounding area had been closed off. 

It said: “[Roads] closed due to an ongoing incident. 

“Be aware that traffic in the surrounding area is also likely to be impacted as well as public transport routes. 

“Please avoid the area if you can.”

The Scottish Ambulance Service confirmed that “21 resources including our Special Operation Resource Team” were dispatched to the incident early this morning.