Fire guts shops in Ondo

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - THE METRO SECTION - From Oluwaseun Ak­ing­boye, Akure

AN ar­ray of shops stocked with goods worth mil­lions of naira in prepa­ra­tion for the yule­tide sea­son were razed to ashes in the early hours of Tues­day in Akure, cap­i­tal city of Ondo State.

The fire oc­curred around 2:00a.m. in the shops si­t­u­ated along Ilesa-owo Ex­press­way at Road­block Junc­tion, op­po­site Chicken Re­pub­lic eatery. The shops were owned by lo­cal traders such as food sell­ers, bar­bers, and fash­ion de­sign­ers, among other busi­ness ven­tures.

Ac­cord­ing to sources, the in­ci­dent was caused by power surge while the late ar­rival of Ondo State Fire Ser­vice led to the ex­tent of dam­age.

Re­count­ing their losses, one of the af­fected traders, Mr. Paul Em­manuel, dis­closed that 12 shops sell­ing food­stuffs, cos­met­ics, costly mer­can­tile and oth­ers were in­volved in the in­ferno. Em­manuel, who lamented that they just stocked up their shops with new mer­chan­dise for the fes­tive sea­son, said the in­ci­dent started in one of the shops be­fore spread­ing to other locked-up stores. “I was called around 4:00a.m. that fire has gut­ted my shops. By the time I got here, my shops and oth­ers have been razed.

An­other vic­tim, Mrs. Abim­bola Ade­sanya, wailed that all the money she bor­rowed from a co­op­er­a­tive so­ci­ety to stock up her shop has been lost to the fire. She im­plores the state gov­ern­ment to as­sist the af­fected traders.

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