stephenhuntGreater Manchester Fire & Rescue chief Steve McGuirk has said the Service are "devasted" at the loss of firefighter Stephen Hunt after he was killed in the line of duty.

FF Hunt (pictured) was among 60 firefighters deployed to tackle a major blaze at a hair salon in Oldham on Sunday afternoon [14 July], one other was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Two members of the shop staff were also taken to hospital after initially attempting to tackle the fire themselves before eight fire appliances arrived on scene.

Brings home the daily dangers for firefighters
The blaze, which the Service said was particularly difficult to tackle because of the complex layout of the building and the amount of materials inside, took over four hours to get under control.

After learning that the incident had claimed the life of one of his firefighters, CFO McGuirk said: "We never expect to lose a colleague in this way and it brings home the dangers that our firefighters put themselves in every day to keep the community safe.

"Stephen had been a dedicated firefighter since 2008 and we are all in a state of shock."

Two girls arrested for manslaughter
An investigation has been launched to establish the cause of the blaze with two 15-year-old girls having already been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter. Merseyside & Lancashire FRS will lead the investigation in collaboration with the police.

CFOA President Vij Randeniya added: "We are all devasted by the news. We offer our sincere condolences to Stephen's family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time."

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