Russian NYE revellers watch in horror as 80-foot Christmas tree becomes ...

Russa New Years EveSIBERIAN TIMESThe blaze took place in Lenin Square in the Sakhalin island capital

Thousands of revellers attending the festivities in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk watched in horror as the devastating blaze in the city square destroyed the tree in minutes.

The attendees were warned to keep clear as the Soviet-era music kept blaring from a festive concert.

The blaze took place in Lenin Square in the Sakhalin island capital.

Temperatures were below zero at a perishing -6C, but the plastic burned with immense intensity and within minutes there was only a metal frame intact.

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Firefighters were called but the tree was destroyed by the time they arrived.

Videos of the event went viral along with jokes about a hot New Year party in the Russia Far East.

An investigation is underway into the cause of the fire.

But despite the horror, the New Year was toasted successfully in a more traditional fireworks display in the city and across Russia.

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