Hundreds in tribute to tragic firefighter

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HUNDREDS OF people have attended a memorial service for a firefighter who lost his life on duty.

Family, friends, colleagues and the public joined together during a poignant service at St Ann’s Church in Manchester city centre to mark the one-year anniversary of the death of Stephen Hunt.

Mr Hunt, 38, a father-of-two, was killed battling a fierce blaze alongside 60 other firefighters, at a shop, Paul’s Hair World on Oldham Street in the city centre, a year ago yesterday.

Yesterday’s service was led by the Rector of St Ann’s, the Reverend Nigel Ashworth, with tributes to Mr Hunt read by County Fire Officer Steve McGuirk, Mr Hunt’s watch manager Neil Helmrich and his daughter Charlotte Hunt.

Readings were heard by Lord Lieutenant JP Warren Smith, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority chairman, Councillor David Acton and Mr Hunt’s stepfather Wilf Veevers.

Mr Helmrich said: “We have gathered to remember one person Stephen Alan Hunt a man who loved life, loved the fire service, but most importantly loved his family.

“I’d like to say four words from all of Blue Watch Philips Park – he was a good man.”

Earlier in the day firefighters from Philips Park Fire Station marked the anniversary at a private ceremony during which a stone commemorating Mr 
Hunt’s sacrifice was laid at the station.

The stone was recovered from the building on Oldham Street where Mr Hunt was fatally injured.