Weather Icon 7.1°C Rain
Family’s tribute to tragic firefighter
Thursday 29th October 2015 @ 19:03 by Nigel Skinner


The family of Stalybridge Crew Manager Lee Gaunt, 41, have paid tribute to him following his tragic death on Sunday, October 18.

In a statement released by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service they said: “Lee was a well-respected firefighter and Crew Manager, and a popular member of the Service.

“He was a devoted father to two boys and a much-loved husband, son, brother, brother-in-law and friend who was well-liked and respected by everyone who met him.

“Lee – a dedicated Manchester City fan – served with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service for almost 19 years and began his career at Philips Park.

“He moved to Stalybridge in 2004 and had served across Tameside ever since.

“Over the years Lee was involved in various fundraising activities such as in 2011 when he took part in the Three Peaks Challenge for The Fire Fighters Charity.

“He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.”

Tributes poured in across social media to the firefighter who was also well known locally as a football coach for Mossley Juniors and flags flew at half mast at fire stations across Greater Manchester as a mark of respect.

In an earlier statement to the press, County Fire Officer and Chief Executive Peter O’Reilly said: “We are devastated by Lee’s death. He was an extremely well liked and popular member of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and we are utterly distraught that he has gone… it has left the entire Service in shock.

“Our firefighters are brave people but this will test our strength to the extreme.

“We have three priorities – to look after Lee’s family, his Watch and everyone else who is part of the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service family.

“In time, through police investigations and the coronial process, we will begin to understand what has happened.

“We are all so sad and it will take some time to sink in, but we are supporting each other as much as we can.”

The firefighter, who was on duty at the time of his death, was found hanged at the station by his colleagues in the early hours of Sunday , October 18.

He had been working on the night shift as part of Green Watch.