A devastating blaze is to rip through the heart of Emmerdale, claiming the lives of two of the soap's characters.
Terrified villagers will watch in horror as fire engulfs a row of cottages in January, threatening the lives of some of the show's best-loved figures.
Betty Eagleton (Paula Tilbrook) is left fighting for her life when the fire spreads to Keepers Cottage.
Housemates Chas Dingle (Lucy Pargeter) and Gennie Walker (Sian Reese-Williams) are left in peril when Victoria Cottage catches light.
Katie Sugden (Sammy Winward) may also be doomed after arguing with her angry ex Andy, who has a history of arson.
Brenda Walker (Lesley Dunlop) and Terry Woods' (Billy Hartman) days could be numbered when their home is caught up in the inferno.
And Viv Hope (Deena Payne) may breathe her last when she is left alone drowning her sorrows in her flat after Terry rejects her advances.
Soap chiefs say viewers will have to wait until the episode airs to find out who dies in the disaster, which the grief-stricken villagers will be horrified to discover was no accident.
Series producer Gavin Blyth said: "This is going to be one of the most dramatic and tragic events ever to rock Emmerdale and no-one will be untouched by the fire's devastating consequences.
"The whole village will be thrown together for these gripping and heart-wrenching episodes which will launch us into an unmissable 2011."