FIREFIGHTERS across Manchester have paused to remember their colleague Stephen Hunt on the eighth anniversary of his death.

Stephen, from Bury, died after sustaining injuries in a fire in Manchester's Northern Quarter in 2013.

A memorial to the 38-year-old father-of-two lies close by the Phillips Park fire station, in east Manchester, where he served and fellow firefighters gathered to share memories of Stephen, who also served with the Royal Signals Corps in Bosnia.

Flags were also flown at half mast in memory of Stephen who was among 60 firefighters called to Paul's Hair World in Oldham Street in July 2013.

He and a colleague, Jeremy Jones, had entered the building equipped with breathing apparatus but visibility was virtually nil.

Stephen was later found collapsed and could not be resuscitated. He was pronounced dead later that evening.

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) said: "Today we remember firefighter Stephen Hunt who lost his life doing the job he loved eight years ago. Our thoughts are with his family and friends, and flags are being flown at half-mast across our fire stations in remembrance.

"Stephen is forever in our hearts."

An inquest in 2016 heard that Stephen, who grew up in Whitefield and lived in New Road, Radcliffe, was attempting to tackle a huge fire, with his crew, at Paul's Hair World in July 2013.

While it was believed two girls may have started the blaze, through carelessly discarded cigarettes, no-one was ever convicted over his death, though the inquest did return 'unlawful killing' verdicts.

A street in the Miles Platting area of Manchester, close to the Phillips Park station, was named in Stephen's honour.