Lee Gaunt, 41, was discovered at 4.40 am on Sunday morning by his colleagues at Stalybridge fire station. After failed attempts at revival he was pronounced dead.
Manchester’s fire-fighters are now mourning the death of their beloved colleague who they found hanged at the station.
Peter O’Reilly, county fire officer, said of the tragedy “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.
“We have contacted everyone on Green Watch this morning and 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 today – to look after Lee’s family, his watch and everyone else who is part of the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service family.
“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.
“In time, through police investigations and the coronial process, we will begin to understand what has happened but for now my thoughts are with Lee’s family and all his friends.”
Taking to social media, mourners have been paying tribute to Gaunt branding him a “legend”.
Mandy Saunders wrote on facebook “This was one our finest firemen in Tameside who fit our smoke alarms for deaf people in Tameside . My deepest sympathies go to his family and colleagues in the fire services.
“So sad xxx RIP Lee Gaunt. From Mandy Saunders and DEAF TEAM (Tameside MBC).”
Jamie holt also took to Facebook, writing “RIP lee saved so many lives what a legend.”
Gary Keary, secretary for the Fire Brigades Union Greater Manchester, said “The Fire Brigades Union are deeply saddened to hear about Lee’s sudden passing.
“Our thoughts are with Lee’s family, friends and colleagues at this time.”
Taking to twitter, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said that they would be flying flags at half-mast to commemorate Mr Gaunt.