A BROKEN ankle didn't stop Rural Fire Service volunteer Max Pike grabbing a hose and battling intense flames when he heard Nimbin's beloved Rainbow Cafe was alight.
"You just do what you've got to do; that's what being a volunteer is all about," he said.
"We love this town, and you just do what you have to do for the sake of Nimbin.
"If my pager goes off again this afternoon, I'll be out there."
The Mount Nardi resident, who was still adjusting his sleeping patterns after returning from an overseas holiday, said he was on Facebook at about 3.25am on Wednesday when his pager buzzed, notifying him the Rainbow Cafe was ablaze.
"I just jumped straight in the car and came down the hill and when I got here there was one truck here already," he said.
"Charlie and Brad from the Nimbin brigade were stopping the flames spreading towards the real estate agent and the newsagent end of town."
Within minutes, Mr Pike said the blaze had taken hold in the Rainbow Cafe.
"There was a huge peaking flame in the middle of the Rainbow Cafe and I just knew we weren't going to save it," he said.
"Even if we had 10 trucks there we wouldn't have been able to stop the Rainbow from burning down."
As the fire began developing into an inferno, threatening buildings on the western side of Cullen St, Mr Pike knew there was no time to waste.
"I grabbed another line of 38mm hose, bolted out and jumped on the other side to Charlie and Brad, trying to stop some of the flames going toward the museum," he said.
"But at that stage the tree was already alight at the back of the museum and there was just nothing we could do really."
Nimbin Chamber of Commerce president, Peter Wise, said Max Pike was a hero.
"Max, with his broken ankle, was one of the first people here and he was fighting the fire, cast and all," he said.
"He did an amazing job."