RCMP have arrested a 12-year-old boy and say five other children under 12 were involved in a fire that destroyed the band office, 9-1-1 call centre and only grocery store in a remote northern Manitoba First Nations community.

Authorities have declared a state of emergency for Shamattawa, a fly-in community of approximately 1,300 people, located 750 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.

RCMP say the fire started in the band office mid-afternoon Thursday, before it spread to the grocery store next door. Officials say five of the six kids believed to be involved are under 12-years-old and cannot be charged.

Shamattawa Chief Jeffrey Napaokesik said band office staff members were at a funeral several kilometres away when the fire started. “It’s a total loss and it’s kind of a shock to us,” he said.

Napaokesik said firefighters used hydrants and a truck normally used to deliver water to put out the flames because the community's only fire truck has not been working ever since it arrived.

Sheila North Wilson, grand chief of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, said the broken firetruck needs to be fixed immediately. “We need to get a mechanic in there to fix this,” she told reporters in Winnipeg.

The federal government and the Red Cross have flown urgent food and supplies to the community on two planes from Winnipeg.

Dan McConnell, who runs The North West Company that operates the burned-down Northern Store sent staff up Friday.

“I expect us to be up and running very soon with a temporary store to be able to service most of the community’s needs,” he said.

An internal federal government report prepared in 2011 found that 56 per cent of First Nations sites did not have adequate fire protection. The report stated that First Nations residents were 10 times more likely to die in house fires than other Canadians.

With files from The Canadian Press and a report from CTV Winnipeg