TWO boys have been arrested on suspicion of arson after a warehouse fire at an industrial estate in Widnes.

The 12 and 13 year olds were arrested by Cheshire Police as part of an investigation into the large blaze at Golden Triangle Industrial Estate in Harrison Street, Widnes, which broke out at around 8.45pm on Thursday.

On arrival firefighters found a warehouse, measuring 30 metres by 50 metres, well alight.

The smoke could be seen across Cheshire and Merseyside.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Picture shows smoke from the fire at Golden Triangle industrial estate in Widnes. Picture courtesy of Ellis Carrington

The event was declared a major incident and police are also attendance.

A man was injured in the fire and treated by paramedics. 

Cheshire Fire Service said residents from 50 neighbouring properties were evacuated and aren't expected to be allowed back home later this morning at the earliest.

There is not thought to be any fire damage to any of the nearby properties.

The fire is now under control after several hose reel jets were used to fight it overnight.

The safety cordon has been reduced from 300 to 150 metres.

Four fire engines and an aerial ladder platform remain at the scene.

Firefighters are currently damping down the area to make it safe.

They are using water to cool down gas cylinders at the industrial estate that have been affected by the fire.

Road closures are in place and motorists are advised to avoid the area.

At one point overnight, 16 fire engines were involved in the incident - two from Runcorn, one from Widnes, one from Stockton Heath, one from Lymm, two from Ellesmere Port, two from Penketh, one from Birchwood, one from Warrington, one from Sandbach, one from Winsford and three from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service - as have aerial ladder platforms from Lymm and Chester

Runcorn and Widnes World:

The fire seen from nearby house. Picture: Karen Mackenzie

On arrival,  firefighters quickly began using a main jet to fight the fire.

Two ground monitors were also used.

The fire spread to the roof space and other industrial units.

Four industrial units measuring approximately 100 metres by 30 metres have been affected by the fire.

On social media, it was reported that loud bangs could be heard.

Describing the explosions Sarah Ryan told Runcorn & Widnes World:  "We could hear the loud bangs and it started spitting out metal!! Very scary."

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Picture of smoke from the blaze taken by Stu Bell

The injured man was treated by fire fighters at the scene before being taken into the care of paramedics.

Hose reel jets and ground monitors are being used to protect nearby properties in a bid to stop the fire from spreading further.

Gas cylinders at the site had been moved to a safe location.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Smoke from the blaze. Picture: Phil Jackson

Praising the emergency service's response to the incident, Lois Smith said on our Facebook page: "Our emergency services are true heroes praying and hoping everyone is safe well."

Karen Mackenzie said: "We're so lucky to have such amazing emergency services.

"It Was very scary earlier but they seem to have it under control a little now.

"We're okay"

A Cheshire Fire Service statement read: "Firefighters have now got the fire contained and are bringing it under control.

"However, residents living in the Halebank area are still being advised to stay indoors and keep their windows and doors closed as a precaution."

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