A fire of unknown origin completely gutted a business complex at Number 64 Village Corentyne, Berbice.
The flames also destroyed a nearby house and several vehicles which were in close proximity.
The fire was first seen coming from the building which housed a cinema, a restaurant and a hardware store.
According to eyewitnesses, there was a loud explosion and then thick black smoke was seen coming from the center of the three-story building.
The flames moved towards the front of the structure and within minutes the entire upper-flat was engulfed.
One unit from the Corriverton Fire Station arrived but had difficulty getting water from a nearby canal due to mechanical problems.
In the meanwhile, the fire spread to the building next door which was unoccupied since the owners are overseas.
Two vehicles that were parked at the bottom of the house were also destroyed. Residents tried desperately to douse the flames by forming a bucket brigade but to no avail.
As the fire threatened a third building, a unit from the Skeldon Estate arrived and was able to pump water to prevent further damage. A unit from the Rose Hall Fire Service subsequently arrived on scene to render assistance.