Children watching the fire
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Rio's carnival preparations up in smoke

People in Rio de Janeiro watched in tears as warehouses containing many of the costumes and floats for this year's carnival, went up in smoke.

Firefighters tackled the blaze at the City of Samba complex, housing many prominent samba schools, but the warehouses were destroyed.

Each year, Rio's top samba schools compete for the best parade, with spectacular costumes which are prepared in great detail throughout the year.

But with a month to go until the world famous carnival, organisers fear it will be impossible to rebuild what has been lost.