By Nathan M. Walters, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Residence of Copacabana were interrupted from the usual morning scene along Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana by the sight of billowing smoke clouds from a fire that engulfed a party supply store near Rua Santa Clara and Figueiredo Magalhães. At around 9AM the fire department arrived to rolling flames at the Festa Adrian party supply shop adjacent to the Loja Americanas at 616 Avenida Nossa Senhora.
Within a few minutes a crowd had gathered around the blaze to watch as members of the fire department positioned themselves to fight the blaze and to capture images of the billowing smoke cloud that climbed into the morning sky.
There was an expected tension in the area, considering the proximity of other building to the blaze and the interconnected nature of residential and commercial buildings throughout the neighborhood.
Though the fire was contained with no reported injuries, people watched with concern knowing that an unlucky gust of wind could wreak havoc in the neighborhoods.
At one point, residents in the building adjacent to the fire were casually leaning out their windows watching the blaze. Onlookers pleaded with the people to exit the building, not knowing if or how the fire would spread. “What are you doing? Get out!” shouted one spectator in the crowd.
To avoid longer than usual traffic jams, motorists are advised to avoid Copacabana. The Rio Transit Authority (CET-Rio) suggests Botafogo and Lagoa as an alternative route for travel through Zona Sul (South Zone), Reboucas Tunnel for travel out.
The fire was a scary start to the day that marks the 120th anniversary of Copacabana.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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