Several goods estimated at millions of naira were lost on Tuesday after fire ravaged a market in the Road Block area of Akure, Ondo State.
It was learnt that some of the items destroyed in the fire were foodstuffs, barbing equipment, textile materials, among others.
A source said the fire started around 2am.
He said, “The fire began at a point we have not yet identified and spread to the locked up shops in the market. We believe it was caused by a power surge. No one was around when it started.”
The source added that the fire would not have wrecked much havoc if the men of the Ondo State Fire Service had responded on time when a distress call was put across to them.
Another source said some of the affected traders had just stocked their shops in preparation for the Yuletide.
One of the affected traders, Mr. Paul Emmanuel, who described the incident as tragic, said he rushed down to the market when he was informed that his shop had been gutted by fire.
“So many goods worth millions of naira have been lost. This is very painful because Christmas is just around the corner.
“We called the fire service office on the telephone, but they didn’t pick their calls on time and we had to drive down to their office to drag them here,” he said.
Another trader, Mrs. Abimbola Adesanya, appealed to the state Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, to assist the victims with funds to cushion the effect of the disaster.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Femi Joseph, who confirmed the incident, said the matter was not reported to the police.