A South Porcupine Ontario Provincial Police officer is facing numerous charges, including attempted murder, stemming from a residential fire last month.
OPP Det. Const. Cecile Fournel, age 52, was arrested on March 13 as a result of a joint investigation by the OPP and Timmins Police Service. Fournel has been charged with attempted murder, arson -- disregard for human life and administering a noxious thing.
"This is an unfortunate, but isolated incident," said South Porcupine OPP Const. Marc Depatie. "This is a difficult time for the detachment."
Depatie said the incident has had a severe impact on the morale of the detachment, but officers are trained professionals who retain the ability to maintain a professional level of commitment despite difficult situations. At about 9 p. m. on Feb. 25, the Timmins Fire Department responded to the fire on Kellyann Drive in Timmins. While the residence sustained extensive damage, the lone female occupant of the home managed to escape unharmed.
A release issued by police Saturday states that Fournel and the female occupant are known to each other outside her policing
duties. "This arrest stems from a set
of facts that occurred while Det. Const. Fournel was off duty," Depatie said. "They are unrelated to her duties as a police officer and no ongoing investigations have been compromised by her arrest."
Currently suspended from duty, Fournel has been a member of the OPP for 10 years. She was stationed at the South Porcupine detachment and assigned to the Northeast Region Crime Unit.
"The public should rest assured that there will be no interruptions or delays in the level of policing services provided by the South Porcupine OPP detachment," said Depatie. "But this draws into sharp focus the premise that no one is above the law, bearing in mind that all persons charged are innocent until proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt."
Fournel is currently being held in custody and will appear in the Ontario Court of Justice in Timmins today, where the charges will be formally read to her.
Depatie said the presiding justice will weigh all relevant factors and determine whether or not Fournel can be released from custody awaiting trial. The investigation is ongoing as the OPP work alongside the Ontario Fire Marshal's office and Timmins Police Service.