Northern Quarter hair salon blaze: Girl, 15, summoned to court over arson charge

A girl of 15 will appear in court to face charges of arson following the Northern Quarter blaze that claimed a fireman’s life last year.

Stephen Hunt, from Philips Park Fire Station, tragically died while tackling the blaze that started at Paul’s Hair World on Oldham Street in Manchester.

Following an investigation by Greater Manchester Police, the teenager will appear in Manchester City Magistrates Court on June 2.

She will face a charge of arson – reckless as to whether life endangered.

Father of two Stephen was one of 60 firefighters who arrived to battle the blaze, but he along with another firefighter got into difficulty inside the building.

Both men were pulled out by their colleagues and taken to hospital, however Stephen later died.

County Fire Officer Steve McGuirk said at the time: “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.

“It is a very sad day for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and all our thoughts are with Stephen’s family and friends.”

The complex layout of the Paul’s Hair World and the amount of materials inside are thought to be factors which led to Stephen getting into trouble once inside.

Stephen left behind a son and a daughter.

Shortly after his death his family said: “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. 

“We loved his sense of humour and are very proud of him and what he brought to our lives.”

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