A major fire erupted at Rio's Copacabana as the renowned beach district marked its 120th anniversary Friday, but firefighters brought the blaze under control and there were no casualties.
A thick column of black smoke engulfed part of the neighborhood, home to the most famous beach in the world, after the fire broke out at a shop during morning rush hour.
But firefighters quickly intervened and put out the fire.
Copacabana residents were meanwhile set to celebrate the district's 120th anniversary as well as the recent decision by UNESCO to declare Rio a World Heritage Site.
Municipal authorities have organized a huge free bossa nova and samba concert on the beach facing the iconic Copacabana Palace hotel.
Every year, around two million people -- locals and tourists -- throng Copacabana beach late on December 31 to usher in the new year.
Copacabana will even welcome Pope Benedict XVI during World Youth Day, a Catholic Church event expected to draw hundreds of thousands of youths from around the world here in July 2013.
Source: AFP Global Edition