After the deaths of two firefighters when a blaze caused a roof collapse in Listowel, some are asking if changes to provincial building codes could have prevented the loss.

Ken Rea and Ray Walter were killed in March 17, 2011, when a portion of the burning commercial building's roof gave way.

An investigation later concluded the fire had started in the roof, and was more involved than those on scene believed when firefighters were sent in to search for victims.

Larry Brassard, deputy fire chief at the Waterloo Fire Department, says "If a structure is involved, we really have to question going into the building at all."

The building had been undergoing renovations after the roof began leaking.

Investigators with the Fire Marshal's Office of Ontario looking into the fire say it had many characteristics associated with new construction, including lighter grade wood and a hanging truss design.

Those are both building techniques known to burn faster, but it's unclear if that played a factor in the tragedy.

The National Fire Protection Association's regional director Sean Tracey says "Since roughly the 1950s, when a lot of the building code standards came into place, the typical designed fire has changed. They're hotter, they're faster and they burn more toxic."

He believes the building codes need to better protect firefighters, including the use of thicker wood that can withstand flames longer.

The association is trying to get the attention of lawmakers at Queen's Park, but Tracey says it has so far been unsuccessful.

"We tried a private member's bill and it just doesn't percolate to the top of interest. Although it's of great concern to us, we just can't seem to get the political momentum behind this change."

Until building codes change, Brassard says homeowners should be prepared for the worst.

"I think people really underestimate how quickly a fire can take hold of their home. They have to be prepared when that smoke alarm goes off."