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Country Fire Service firefighters have been praised for their efforts in preventing a fire from completely destroying a major complex of shops in Coober Pedy overnight.

The alarm was raised just after 7pm when fire crews were called to the town's main shopping precinct in Hutchinson Street.

About 15 CFS firefighters assisted by local State Emergency Service crews, police and council workers took about five hours to bring the blaze under control which destroyed five commercial premises and one residential building.

The fire caused about one million dollars damage.

CFS Regional Coordinator Sam Quigley said the crews managed to prevent the fire from spreading to seven other adjoining businesses in addition to three residential properties.

"This was a very difficult fire to contain but through the efforts of our crews they managed to stop it from spreading and causing further damage," he said.

"The fire was contained around midnight but one crew remained at the scene until 4am to monitor and extinguish any hotspots."

The cause of the fire is still being investigated and has not yet been determined.

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