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Rose Parade float breaks down and catches fire

Pasadena, Calif. — A small fire broke out aboard a float in the 130th Rose Parade on Tuesday, prompting a brief disruption to the nationally televised New Year's event, CBS Los Angeles reports. The float was towed from its location in the parade along Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, prompting a tweet about "technical difficulties" from the official Rose Parade account.

The fire erupted aboard the float just before 10 a.m. near the intersection of Orange Grove and Green, according to city officials. 

Video footage from local station KTLA showed smoke rising from the float as it stopped in the middle of the parade route.  

Fiesta Floats, which built the float commemorating Chinese-American railroad workers, blamed an electrical issue for the fire and said the float was shut down as a safety precaution.

Rose Parade
A tow truck tries to move the Chinese American Heritage Foundation float during the 130th Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. The parade was briefly interrupted when the float celebrating U.S. railroad heritage broke down and erupted in smoke. Michael Owen Baker / AP

According to CBS Los Angeles, the delay caused by the broken-down float led some attendees to believe that the parade was actually over. Paradegoers flooding the streets caused additional delays to the rest of the parade.

Will Ferrell and Molly Shannon chronicled the float's breakdown in character as parade hosts "Cord Hosenbeck" and "Tish Hattigan" in their live broadcast for Funny or Die.

The annual extravaganza in Pasadena kicked off with a performance by singer Chaka Khan, the grand marshal of the parade, and featured 40 floats decorated with countless flowers and waving celebrities. The theme was "The Melody of Life." 

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