Mourners pay respects to fallen hero: Condolence book for firefighter Stephen Hunt opened on Oldham St

By Marios Papaloizou

Support and condolences for the family of heroic firefighter Stephen Hunt, who died tackling a Northern Quarter blaze, continue to pour in as mourners leaves messages in an Oldham Street condolence book.

The fire started at Paul’s Hair World in the Northern Quarter on Saturday and took more than 24-hours to extinguish.

The death of the firefighter was a shock to the community and many people felt compelled to write messages of support to the family.

“It’s so sad and so tragic; he was so brave and must have been a great guy,” said 30-year-old Carlie.

Brenda Cullinan, 58, revealed she knows many firefighters and believes they can be underappreciated.

She said: “I’m devastated by what’s happened, I have friends who are firefighters and I know how dangerous their work is,” said Brenda.

Jo Kelly, 28, who works in the area, said: “The Northern Quarter is such a big part of my life. It’s awful that someone has lost their life trying to save the area.

     TRAGIC: Oldham Street following Saturday’s blaze

“The fact that there’s a book of condolences is fantastic.”

“I signed the book to show respect to his bravery and to pass on my condolences to the family.”

There are also books of condolence at Philip’s Park Fire Station where Stephen was based and in the reception area of Fire Service Headquarters in Bolton Road, Swinton.

A digital book of condolence is also available on the GMFRS website, which can be accessed via the homepage or by clicking here

If you wish to write a message, the condolence book is in the MFRS Community Event Vehicle has been set up to allow members of the public a quiet place to gather for reflection opposite Afflecks Palace on Oldham Street.

County Fire Officer Steve McGuirk said: “The support we have received from the public of Greater Manchester and community groups, as well as other emergency services – not just from across the UK but from across the world – has been phenomenal.
“We have books of condolence set up at various locations as well as on our website and we’ve already received thousands of messages, not to mention the wishes that have been given via Twitter and Facebook.
“Every single message means so much to us as a Service and to Stephen’s colleagues and friends, and we are truly grateful for the support. All condolence messages will be passed onto Stephen’s family and friends.
“We are still in a state of shock to be honest and it’s a very difficult time for everyone in the Service – to lose a firefighter is an absolute tragedy and everyone is feeling a deep sense of loss.”

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.

Related Articles