Major fire took place at the Merseyside paintball centre on Monday afternoon

The Merseyside Fire and Rescue service were called after the paintball centre caught ablaze on Monday afternoon, at around 5PM.

”Fire Crews arrived to find a large building with an area of around 20 x 30 metres well alight,” a statement from the Fire & Rescue service read.

Six fire engines were dispatched to the Special Ops Desert Storm paint balling warehouse. Fire Crews advised residents to keep doors and windows shut, as thick clouds of smoke billowed off the building.

Fire Crews discovered part of the roof of the warehouse had collapsed, and a large number of tires within had caught alight, contributing to the unusually thick black smoke.

Two people were missing and feared to be caught within burning building, although no update has been released about their status or whether they were found inside the building.

Although a nearby factory was evacuated, no other surrounding buildings were affected by the blaze.

Firefighters combat the blaze as bystanders post photos of the smoke cloud to social media

Borough Road, the location of the paintball warehouse, Prescot Road, and Eccleston Street were promptly closed to traffic.

Another statement from the fire department read: “The incident has been divided into sectors in order to deal with the fire. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus are fighting the fire.”

“A large smoke plume has been moving in a South easterly direction, however firefighting has reduced this plume significantly. An aerial appliance [combined platform ladder] is in use along with ground monitors and main branch hoses.”

Residents of the area took to social media, posting photos of the clouds of black smoke coming off the buildings and the fire engines and firefighters.

Twitter user Amy Faith posted a photo of the smoke clouds and a fire engine with the caption “Fire at the Desert Storm Paintball warehouse in St Helens. Biggest fire I’ve ever seen first hand.”