An early morning fire yesterday destroyed property, mostly shops, estimated at millions of naira in Akure, the Ondo State capital. The fire occurred near a roadblock junction, opposite Chicken Republic on Owo-Akure-Ilesa Road. It was learnt that the inferno started around 2 a. m and spread to other locked-up stores. Sources said it was caused by a
power surge. It was learnt that the alleged late arrival of men of the state fire service aggravated the situation as many helpless traders resorted to self-help. Goods estimated at millions of naira inside the shops were burnt to ashes.
The shops, it was gathered, belong to local traders, like food sellers, barbers, fashion designers, beer parlour owners, among others. The affected traders were seen wailing and counting their losses on the scene while passers-by commiserated with them. One of the affected traders, Paul Emmanuel, said about 12 shops were burnt to ashes.
According to him, the goods he lost to the fire were costly tailoring materials, cosmetics, foodstuffs, assorted wares, among others. Emmanuel said the night fire started from one of the shops before spreading to other locked stores. The businessman described the inferno as tragic, adding that the traders recently stocked their shops for sales ahead of the Christmas festivities. He said: “I was called around 4 a.m that fire had gutted my shops at Roadblock Junction.
By the time I got there, my shops and many others had been razed. “Many goods, estimated at millions of naira, have been lost here. It is very sad, especially with Christmas period around the corner.” Emmanuel said he called the fire service but did not get an answer from them. Another trader, Mrs Abimbola Adesanya, described the fire as unfortunate. She urged the government to assist the affected traders to revive their businesses.