The fire was started in Paul's Hair World, a salon in central Manchester, Saturday night, The Sunday Telegraph reported.
As firefighters were battling the blaze, Stephen Hunt, 38, and another firefighter were engulfed by a "super heat," possibly steam or chemicals that were ignited by the fire," fire chiefs said. The firefighters were taken to a hospital where Hunt, a father of two, was pronounced dead. The other firefighter, whose name was not reported, suffered minor injuries.
"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," said County Fire Officer Steve McGuirk. "The early indications are an absolutely massive, ferocious and sudden build-up of heat. But where that came from and what caused that we have got absolutely no idea at this stage."
Police later arrested two 15-year-old girls in connection to the fire and are now investigating how the fire actually started, The Sun reported.
"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," Detective Superintendent Phil Owen said. "We have already arrested two juveniles in connection with the fire and our enquiries are continuing. If anyone has any information about how the fire started please get in touch."