One person died and seven other were injured when a huge fire destroyed at least six large fuel storage tanks outside Rio de Janeiro, local government sources said.

The fire broke out in the storage area of fuel and lubricant distributor Petrogold in Duque de Caxias, a municipality in the Rio metropolitan area, and it took firefighters four hours to bring it under control.

The Duque de Caxias city hall confirmed the death of one of the storage center's workers and the fact that seven others had been admitted to Adao Pereira Nunes Hospital.

The man who died, apparently, inhaled toxic gases before being picked up by an ambulance.

The flames, which could be seen several kilometers (miles) away, spread to six fuel tanks and part of the administrative facilities at the site, which firefighters had difficulty accessing due to explosions caused by the blaze.

Given the difficulty of fighting the fire directly within the storage area, firefighters from six stations deployed to battle it were limited to a great extent to spraying water on the roofs and the yards of nearby homes to try and prevent the flames from spreading.

Firefighters also ordered the evacuation of residents in homes on six streets near the site, which is close to the highway linking the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Teresopolis. EFE