A teenage boy accidentally started a fire which destroyed a garage in the Nunavut hamlet of Arviat on June 8.

The teen, who was homeless at the time, had been using the garage as a shelter.

"We found that there had been a teenage boy in the building with a candle for light," said Fire Chief Joseph Kaviok. "He fell asleep but woke up to smoke and heat, so he ran out of the building and called it in himself and later went to the police station."

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Fire Chief Joseph Kaviok says the boy called in the fire and then later went to the RCMP detachment. (Submitted photo)

Residents of the hamlet woke up to a thick cloud of black smoke and flames.

Firefighters had to knock down the six-bay garage, which had been used by the hamlet to store old equipment.

Some fuel and chemicals were spilled. And crews are now working to clean up both the spill and the debris from the building.

Kaviok said that because the boy did not mean to start the fire, the department is not pursuing charges against him.