British Guiana (Now Guyana) – The Great Fire of 1945

The Great Fire  of 1945

Re- Stabroek News May 7th. 2000

The RA&CS building ablaze

As people jumped up in the streets on Mashramani, they probably did not realize that in addition to being the thirtieth anniversary of Guyana’s advent to republican status, the day also marked the fifty-fifth anniversary of possibly the most destructive fire in Georgetown’s history.

On February 23, 1945, the Great Fire, as it came to be known, devastated the commercial heart of the capital, and consumed a host of historical and architectural gems which had given the city its aesthetic flair. In addition, it laid waste the RA&CS building and its unique collection of books and papers pertaining to the past of this country.    

Beginning in what was then Bookers Drug Store, the fire raged virtually unimpeded for five hours, incinerating 23 buildings, damaging seven others, and scorching several more.


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  • michael hawkins  On July 18, 2018 at 4:16 am

    I Remember this fire as a boy. Myself and brother stood at the front gate and saw the flames and smoke. We lived in North Road at the time. One of the stores that was destroyed was Bookers. Ah so long ago, another life time

  • jean cameron  On July 18, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    I remember that fire ! was 6 years old and scared that it would reach my grandmothers house at Hatfield Street

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