KITCHENER -- The province’s police watchdog says it is investigating a fatal police-involved shooting in Exeter.

The Special Investigations Unit made the announcement late Tuesday night, following multiple reports of a heavy police presence in the Huron County community.

Huron County OPP say they were called, along with fire crews, to a report of a fire at a residence on Simcoe Street in Exeter at around 6:40 p.m. Tuesday.

On Wednesday morning, the SIU confirmed that 44-year-old Wade Vanderwal was killed in the shooting.

According to the SIU, Vanderwal exited the home armed with an axe while first responders were on scene.

During a confrontarion with provincial police, Vanderwal was shot multiple times by two officers.

It's not clear what the interaction involved or why it escalated to gunshots.

One neighbour tells CTV Kitchener he thought he heard fireworks until he looked outside.

"I looked down the street and saw a body laying on the sidewalk," he said. "Police were standing over top of him with their guns drawn and firefighters were standing all around.

"We are just three doors dow and I don't know the person personally, but I know he pets my dog."

Vanderwal was taken to local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

Four investigators and three forensic investigators have been assigned to investigate the incident.