UPDATE: 10.14

SOME traffic is being allowed up High Street this morning, but only on one side of the road.

Most shops are now open on the street apart from Timpson and Lui's fish bar remain closed.

UPDATE: 9.30

BLACKWOOD High Street remains closed this morning after a store gutted by fire was demolished yesterday.

Safety checks continue on neighbouring buildings after the blaze tore through the Poundstretcher store yesterday.

The fire started after a blaze in rubbish bins outside the shop spread to a storeroom on the first floor at the back of the premises.

Witnesses reported seeing flames coming from the roof of Poundstretcher in High Street, which were more than 15 feet off the ground, as around 50 firefighters battled the blaze from 2am.

Arriving for work, devastated employees described their fears that they’d lost their jobs and firefighters told staff that the first floor had collapsed into the ground floor.

The shop was empty at the time of the fire and no-one was injured.

Caerphilly council building control officers were on site assessing the situation yesterday and work began to demolish the ruins. The Timpsons shop next door was also being assessed.

A council spokeswoman said the demolition work would continue overnight to enable the road to open again at the earliest opportunity.

Firefighters tackled the blaze through the early hours, bringing it under control at 7.53am.

Crews remained at the scene throughout the day, damping down.

High Street remained closed off with a cordon blocking off access to a further 11 surrounding shops as people, including the seven employees of Poundstretcher, gathered around awaiting news.

Store manager at Poundstretcher Vanessa Jones and her deputy, Vicky Jones, said they began receiving texts about the fire from friends at 6.30am.

Vicky Jones said: “We rushed up and we were just in shock.”

Vanessa Jones said the store room was used to stock household items such as bedding and cleaning equipment.

Sharon O’Neill, who has worked at the store for 25 years, said: “We are all gutted and don’t know if we’ve got a job anymore.”

Ceinwen Ralph has been at the store for 20 years. She said: “It’s such a good place to work. I’m devastated.”

A spokesman for Poundstretcher said they would be looking to redeploy the seven staff in other stores but this would be based on individual circumstances.

A spokesman for Timpsons said one person was employed at the High Street store and would help out at another store until they could get back into the building.

Crowds of more than 50 people gathered as demolition teams moved on site about 1.30pm to start pulling down the shop.

Video of the blaze from reader Stephen A Batty