PEOPLE hugged and cried as they watched firefighters put out the flames which destroyed the Nimbin Museum, the Rainbow Cafe, BringaBong and Tribal Magic.
But while locals and visitors mourn the loss of these iconic businesses and historic buildings, there is already talk of the village's resilience and its willingness to move forward.
Nimbin Chamber of Commerce president, Peter Wise, admitted that business owners and residents were still in shock.
"It was a very scary phone call to receive at 3.30 in the morning," he said.
"We all raced down here and got out hoses to try and protect the other nearby businesses.
"People were running around everywhere; it was chaos.
"In the end, yes, we have lost some iconic, landmark buildings.
"It's a real loss for the town, and a real loss for our tourism industry ... there was a lot of history there.
"These buildings were the heart of the village."
But Mr Wise said Nimbin was a community with a "strong foundation", and he said he was confident that the businesses would rebuild.
"All that we can hope for and wish for is that, in time, we can work towards rebuilding," he said.
"The business owners and the employees all know each other and support each other.
"There is a real strength in this community."
Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell visited Nimbin yesterday morning, where she met with devastated business owners and residents.
She said it was a "terrible" situation for Nimbin.
"I am in total shock and horror," she said.
Cr Dowell said the council would provide ongoing support during the clean-up. Jodee Tichborne from the Rainbow Cafe said her business was insured, but that she hadn't yet had time to think about the future.