Properties worth millions of naira were consumed Tuesday morning by fire in many shops belonging to some local traders in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
The fire occurred near roadblock junction, opposite Chicken Republic eatery along Owo-Akure-Ilesa Road.
The inferno began around 2.00 am, spreading to other locked- up stores. Sources said it was caused by power surge.
It was learned that the late arrival of men of the Ondo State Fire Service allegedly aggravated the situation as many helpless traders resulted to helping themselves.
Goods worth millions of naira that were left inside the shops were burnt beyond recognition.
The shops, it was gathered, were owned by local traders including food sellers, barbers, fashion designers, and beer parlors among other businesses.
The traders affected by the incident were seen at the scene, wailing and counting their losses as passerby commiserated with them.
One of the affected traders, Paul Emmanuel, said no fewer than twelve shops were burnt to ashes.
According to him, goods lost to the fire attack were costly tailoring materials, cosmetics, foodstuffs, and assorted wares among others.
Emmanuel said that the midnight fire started from one of the shops before spreading to other locked up stores.
He described the inferno as tragic as the traders had recently stocked their shops for sales ahead of the Christmas festivities.
“I was called around 4 am that fire has gutted my shops at roadblock junction. By the time I got there, my shops and many others have been razed down," he said.
“Many goods worth millions of naira have been lost here and it is very sad especially with the Christmas period around the corner."
He said he called the Fire Service Brigade Office but their men did not pick their phone on time.
Another trader, Mrs. Abimbola Adesanya, described the fire incident as unfortunate, adding that goods worth millions were lost.
Adesanya pleaded with the government to assist the affected traders to revive their businesses.