LISTOWEL, Ont. - Two volunteer firefighters have died battling a blaze at a store in Listowel, Ont.
The firefighters were noticed to be missing as the Listowel Volunteer Fire Department battled a fire Thursday afternoon at a Dollar Store in the southwestern Ontario community.
Provincial police say a search of the building revealed that two firefighters had succumbed to injuries sustained while fighting the fire.
Police and Listowel's mayor identified the firefighters as 30-year-old Raymond Walter from Listowel and 56-year-old Kenneth Rea from Atwood
The Ontario Fire Marshal's office is investigating and a spokesman for the North Perth Fire Service said he could not comment on the incident.
Premier Dalton McGuinty released a statement Thursday night expressing condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the firefighters.
"I was saddened to learn today of the death of two volunteer firefighters in Listowel," McGuinty said.
"Our volunteer firefighters take time away from their families to keep us safe," McGuinty said. "We rely on their selflessness, and today's tragedy is a solemn reminder that we must never take their sacrifices for granted."
Police have closed down Main Street, Tremaine Avenue and Wallace Avenue and are asking people to stay clear of the area.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.