An investigation is underway into a powerful fire that destroyed commercial buildings in Springdale late Wednesday night, and came close to spreading to nearby homes.

No one was injured in the fire, which drew crews from the town and neighbouring King's Point and South Brook at around 10:45 p.m.

"All the buildings in the connected commercial strip were incinerated," RCMP said in a statement Thursday morning.

The complex included a Home Hardware store, a warehouse and a Bank of Montreal outlet.

Chris Morgan, the owner of the Home Hardware business, described the event as "surreal."

"I can't even put to words, the total loss," said Morgan. "And of course the nature of the business would be building materials, and so there was lots of obviously wood, and of course the building was very old so it was all wood."

Morgan said when he arrived at the scene shortly before 11:00 p.m., it appeared as if the fire had started in an electrical pole behind the building.

While trying to control the blaze, firefighters also worked on keeping the fire from spreading to surrounding homes. Several homes had windows broken and siding which melted from the heat.

Rennie Normore, chief of the Springdale Fire Department, said it was a difficult fire to battle, due in part to what was inside the hardware store.

"Large amounts of paint, different types of sealant, aerosol cylinders and that - there was a mixture of everything in this building," said Normore. "There [were] offices on the second floor and another storage building in between, and there was a bank joined to that, so it was a very large area. Like I said, a very stubborn fire to attack."

Normore said it is still unclear how the fire started.

RCMP said the fire is not believed to be suspicious.