LAST night, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS)
officially closed the incident at Paul's Hair World in Oldham
Street, Manchester, with a small and intimate ceremony at the
Family and friends of Stephen's Hunt joined his colleagues from
Blue Watch at Philips Park as the final appliances and crew left
GMFRS spoke to Stephen's family and watch and put a lot of
thought into how the operational element of the incident could be
brought to an end.
A low-key event took place at 6.30pm with the Fire Service's
traditional bell ringing ceremony and a one minute's silence.
Three wreaths were laid at the scene before the watch and fire
appliances left Oldham Street and a final message was sent to
the GMFRS Control Room.
passers-by stopped in the street and broke into spontaneous
applause as GMFRS left the scene.
CFO McGuirk said: "We have been overwhelmed and very humbled by
the level of public support following the incident and Stephen's
death and we're really grateful for the comfort and support that
the people of Greater Manchester have shown.
"We've also received messages of condolence from organisations
and emergency services across the UK and the world, and thousands
of people have signed our books of condolence.
"The Service thought long and hard about how to bring the
incident to a conclusion and we thought it would be wrong to just
"We talked to Stephen's family and colleagues about what we
could do - we wanted to hold a short, low-key event to mark the
occasion and take time to pause and reflect before leaving the
scene from an operational perspective."