Tributes paid to loving firefighter
The family of a firefighter killed tackling a blaze at a city centre shop has paid tribute to a loving father-of-two and "an old-fashioned gentleman".
Former soldier Stephen Hunt, 38, was part of a team responding to a fire at Paul's Hair World in Oldham Street, Manchester, when he and a colleague got into difficulties last night.
Both were pulled from the building and taken to hospital but Mr Hunt was declared dead on arrival.
Detectives on Sunday questioned two 15-year-old girls on suspicion of manslaughter who have been bailed to a date in September pending further inquiries.
In a statement issued through Greater Manchester Police (GMP), Mr Hunt's family said: "It is extremely hard to capture all of what Stephen means to our family. Stephen was an old-fashioned gentleman with manners that are rare in this day and age.
"With core values which included loving his family, being the best father that he could be, loving and affectionate to those that were close to him, Stephen lived to serve his country, having served for seven years in the Royal Signals and then becoming a firefighter, which was a career that he was very proud of.
"The whole family will miss spending time with Stephen, none more so than his son, daughter and grandmother. We loved his sense of humour and are very proud of him and what he brought to our lives."
The fire began at about around 2.50pm on Saturday and is still being dealt with. A joint investigation into the cause is under way.
It is thought that Mr Hunt was enveloped by some kind of "super heat" which took the officers inside the building by surprise and which may have been fuelled by the chemicals stored at the business - which is a supplier of hair extensions and hair beauty products.
Detective superintendent Phil Owen said: "We are working with our colleagues from the fire service to establish how this fire, which has tragically claimed the life of a firefighter, started. We have already arrested two juveniles in connection with the fire and our inquiries are continuing. If anyone has any information about how the fire started, please get in touch."