Two volunteer firefighters were killed in the line of duty in southwestern Ontario, Canada on Thursday while battling a commercial department-store fire in Listowel, Ont., which is 160 kilometres east of Toronto, Ontario
Perth OPP were called at 15:30 hours ET, to help the volunteer fire department deal with the structure fire. Published reports are indicating the fire had broken out in the roof of a Dollar Stop store, where roofers had previously been working.
A short time later, two firefighters were unaccounted for. Firefighters conducted a search of the building and found the two downed firefighters who had succumbed to injuries they suffered while fighting the fire.
No further details about the victims were available at the present time. The firefighters’ bodies were still in the building at 20:00 hours., ET, Thursday, and the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office had taken over the scene. Fire fighter Line of duty deaths is not common in Canada and having a fire in which there is a double LODD is even more unheard of.
Additional published reports indicated flames all along the west side and flames were shooting out of the roof, with a series of pops, like small explosions being reported.
Four fire stations – Atwood, Listowel, Monkton and Milverton – all responded to the blaze.
The firefighters were in the process of completing a primary search within the building when the roof collapsed, the QMI Agency has learned.
Update: More Photos HERE
Witnesses said smoke was first spotted coming from the roof of the Dollar Stop store at about 3:30 p.m.
A short time later, two firefighters from the North Perth Fire Department were reported missing inside the single-storey structure. They were later found dead, but their bodies had not been recovered Thursday night.
Killed were 30-year-old Raymond Walter of Listowel, and 56-year-old Kenneth Rea of Atwood. Rea was the deputy district chief for the Atwood station, one of three serving North Perth.
Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation, HERE