RCMP are investigating after an abandoned store and shed in downtown Perth-Andover were destroyed by what's being called a suspicious fire on Monday.

Emergency crews were called to the former Stewart Furniture building on East Riverside Drive shortly after 5 a.m.

Perth-Andover Mayor Terry Ritchie said firefighters from Plaster Rock, Tobique, Drummond, Bath and Grand Falls were called in to help the local fire department.

Nearby apartments were evacuated as a precaution, but those buildings were not affected, officials said.

Trudy Ranger, a long-time village resident, said she was one of dozens of people watching the fire.

Ranger said the destroyed building was home to a plumbing shop when she moved to Perth-Andover as a child in 1949.

It most recently housed a furniture store, which closed a few months ago following the owner's death.

The neigbouring buildings — a flower shop and a hardware store — also have a long history in the community, she said.

"They're the ones that didn't burn when we had a fire that wiped out a good part of the town here years ago. These are buildings that survived it," she said.

No one was injured in the blaze.

Anyone with information about the fire or who may have seen suspicious activity near the building is asked to call RCMP at 506-473-3137, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).