SHAMATTAWA – RCMP have arrested a 12-year-old boy in connection to a a massive fire that crippled the northern Manitoba First Nation of Shamattawa.
The chief says the blaze erupted in the band office yesterday while everyone was away at a funeral.
It spread to the community’s only grocery store, radio station and post office.
Officers say five other kids were involved but can’t be charged because they’re all under 12-years-old.
The community has declared a local state of emergency.
No one was hurt but the store is the most important building on the First Nation.
Derek Reimer of the North West Company tells 680 CJOB they operate several stores in northern communities and they’re sending supplies as soon as they can.
“We have sent a team up to assess the situation to look at what our options are for a temporary store,” says Reimer. “We also are sending a shipment of donated food items and other products.”
There’s an urgent need for food, bottled water, baby formula and diapers.
Shamattawa is accessible only by plane at this time of year and has a population of roughly 1500.
(image courtesy of RCMP)