Perth’s B&M store could be razed to the ground after fire gutted the premises over the weekend.
The landlords of the St Catherine’s retail park unit have refused to rule out drastic measures, which could potentially affect both the neighbouring Pets at Home shop and the vacant unit next door.
A spokesman for Moorgarth, which leases out the entire site, said an investigation would take place before a decision is made.
He said: “At this stage it’s probably too early to know, however there will be a swift assessment once the site is secure and all options including demolition and reconstruction will be reviewed.”
Local residents described explosions coming from the premises as firefighters tackled the fierce blaze in the early hours of Saturday.
Plumes of smoke and flames could be seen from across the city as the fire took hold.
Emergency services raced to the scene shortly after 2am and remained on site until well into Sunday.
The neighbouring Pets at Home store was also affected, with the animals being evacuated to other stores.
Trains into Perth were stopped for a time due to the line running directly behind the burning store.
Sheena Bonthrone, whose flat overlooks the retail park, said: “I got woken up at the back of 2am and got up to make a cup of coffee. I saw all the smoke and the next minute the sky was all red.
“I stayed up and watched it – it seemed to be going further and further along the building towards Pets at Home.
“I was worried about the animals but seemingly they managed to get them out.
“We could hear lots of banging – I don’t know if they were trying to get in through the door. It was scary.”
Another local resident, who did not want to be named, said: “We noticed the blaze shortly after 3am. The fire service were already in attendance, the engines just kept coming.
“There was constant banging and popping, like something inside was exploding. The initial attempts to put the fire out seemed to do very little. Within the hour they had at least three cherry pickers to try and control the blaze.
“We were worried for the safety of the fire fighters in attendance and for the animals at Pets at Home next door. We hope no-one was hurt.”
Smoke could still be seen rising from the burnt-out building on Saturday as firefighters continued to damp down the premises from above.
A spokeswoman for B&M said: “Following an incident in our Perth store the store is currently closed.
“We’d like to thank Perth’s emergency services for their quick response and efforts on site.”
It is understood staff from Perth will be moved to other sites in the meantime.
Perth city centre councillor Chris Ahern, who was on scene on Saturday morning, said the store’s loss was a blow.
He said: “It’s going to be a problem for the next couple of days. It’s a big shame for Perth because it’s a really busy store. I imagine they are going to get it back up and running but there will be the problem of people’s jobs at the moment.”
The city’s Tesco Extra store donated £250 of supplies – including sausage rolls, fruit and crisps – to feed the firefighters and police officers as they worked for hours to make the scene safe.
Police Scotland has now launched an investigation into the blaze.