South East Wales

Poundstretcher Blackwood: Crews tackle 'large' shop fire

Firefighters at the scene six hours after the blaze broke out
Image caption Firefighters at the scene six hours after the blaze broke out

About 50 firefighters have tackled a serious shop fire in Blackwood, Caerphilly county.

South Wales Fire and Rescue say the blaze at the Poundstretcher store in High Street started at about 02:00 BST on Wednesday and took six hours to bring under control.

The building has been declared unsafe.

The road is closed and people are being urged to stay away from the area while those nearby should keep windows and doors shut.

Crews from Cardiff, Merthyr and Aberdare areas have been at the scene.

Six engines and two hydraulic platforms have been used to tackle the flames as well as four other powerful water jets. At one point there was 14 appliances at the scene.

The fire service has warned that the incident will cause disruption in the area.

Some of the properties around the shop are said to have lost power, although none of them have been damaged by fire, but people are being turned away.

By 08:15 BST, the fire service said the blaze had been brought under control and the incident was being scaled down.

A number of fire crews including a hydraulic platform will remain damping down.

Vaughan Jenkins from South Wales Fire Service said they initially sent two fire crews but found the blaze had developed within the store and to the rear.

After bringing in extra support, he added: "The main priority ecause of the damage within Poundstretcher was to protect the other properties further down the High Street and not affect those businesses."

Image caption The fire service has warned of disruption with the High Street closed

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