Retired RCMP officer arrested after fatal Val-des-Monts fire

A 69-year-old retired RCMP officer has been charged with second-degree murder in the deaths two people found inside a burning home in Val-des-Monts, Que., on the weekend.

Firefighters responding to a house fire on rue Mercier around 3:30 p.m. Sunday discovered the bodies of Céline Labelle and Pierre Dupuis, both in their 50s. 

Yvon Mercier, 69, owned the home Labelle and Dupuis were found in. On Monday he was arrested and charged with two counts of second-degree murder and one count of arson.

Provincial police say Mercier knew Labelle and Dupuis but would not say how.

It's "possible" they died in the fire, a Sûreté du Québec spokesperson said in an interview with Radio-Canada on Sunday.

Mercier is a former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who retired from the force in 2007.

Community 'in shock'

Provincial police are working with MRC Collines-de-l'Outaouais police to investigate the deaths.

"This community is really tight-knit," said Val-des-Monts Mayor Jacques Laurin. "We're just in shock."

The couple had lived in the area for a number of years and were known to neighbours, he said. 

The house where the bodies were found is about 20 kilometres northeast of downtown Ottawa-Gatineau.