Two 15-year-old girls have been arrested in Manchester on suspicion of manslaughter after a firefighter was killed tackling a fire at a city centre hair salon.

Firefighter Stephen Hunt, 38, was part of a team responding to a fire at Paul's Hair World in Oldham Street, when he and a colleague got into difficulty last night.

Both were pulled from the building and taken to hospital, but the father-of-two was declared dead on arrival.

Detective Superintendent Phil Owen said: "We are working with our colleagues from the fire service to establish how this fire, which has tragically claimed the life of a firefighter, started.

"We have already arrested two juveniles in connection with the fire and our inquiries are continuing."

County Fire Officer for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service Steve McGuirk said Mr Hunt is thought to have been enveloped by some kind of "super heat".

He said: "At the minute it's really too early to say what's led to the firefighter's death. It doesn't look like a building collapse or that he fell through any floors.

"The early indications are an absolutely massive, ferocious and sudden build-up of heat."

Mr McGuirk said he could not rule out that the sudden intense heat may have been generated by steam or chemicals from inside the hair salon.