A fire at a Poundland store in Moray which took crews six hours to put out is being treated as suspicious, police have confirmed.
The fire started inside the Elgin store at 6.10pm on Friday, with nine engines, around 45 personnel and a height appliance dispatched to the scene on the High Street.
STV News understands that staff and customers at the Poundland store had to be evacuated after the blaze broke out on the ground floor.
Those on the scene described hearing loud bangs from within the shop, with smoke seen across the town.
The fire was brought under control at around 00.15am on Saturday morning.
No one was seriously injured as a result, with one person being treated at the scene by medics for smoke inhalation.
The blaze is now being treated as suspicious, following a joint investigation between the Scottish Fire Rescue Service (SFRS) and Police Scotland.
Inspector Mark Young said: “A joint investigation by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland has now concluded and we’re treating the cause of this fire as suspicious.
“No one was seriously injured as a result with one person being treated for smoke inhalation by ambulance personnel at the scene.
“We are following positive lines of enquiries.”
On Friday night, Scottish Conservative leader and MP for Moray, Douglas Ross urged people to stay away from the site.
“Very concerning to hear about this fire and hope everyone is safe and well,” he wrote on Twitter.
“My thanks to the emergency services for their quick response.
“I would urge people to stay away from this area of Elgin whilst the incident is ongoing.”
In a statement, Poundland said that it will work with the police and fire service to investigate the cause of the fire.
“This evening, just before closing time, colleagues at our Elgin store safely evacuated the premises after a fire broke out,” a company spokesperson said.
“We’re extremely proud of them for their quick action and for the rapid attendance of the fire service from Elgin and elsewhere in Moray.
“As you will understand, the first priority for the authorities has been to extinguish the fire and stop its spread.
“At this stage, we don’t know what caused the incident, but it goes without saying we’ll be working closely with the police and the fire brigade as they investigate the cause.”
The statement added: “While we’re grateful no-one has been injured, our first reaction this evening is one of sadness.
“Our Elgin store is special to us – it’s the only one in the UK we own outright, because of our desire to restore the listed building to its former grandeur.
“When we have more information on the fire we will, of course, share it.”