The heart of the beautiful hinterland town of Grevillia, north of Kyogle, has been ripped out.
The small Summerland Way village lost its general store, post office, bottle shop and petrol station in a massive blaze yesterday morning.
The building was well alight when emergency services arrived. Fire crews said a 200m exclusion zone had to be established as gas cylinders were venting (an emergency mechanism that prevents them from exploding) and a petrol bowser was burning.
A Rural Fire Service spokesperson said there was no way to save the building and officers focused on saving the village hall.
Police forensic officers will examine the property again this morning in an effort to establish the cause of the blaze.