The popular Odopetu Market in Akure, the Ondo State capital, was gutted by fire on Thursday destroying commodities worth millions of naira.
Although no life was lost in the incident, it was gathered that many shops that were stocked with foodstuffs were completely destroyed.
The cause of the inferno was not known as of press time, but the affected traders said the fire was a “mysterious fire.”
Some of the food items destroyed by the fire, included rice, beans, tubers of yam, fowl, palm and vegetable oil.
One of the residents of the area said, “The cause of the fire is not clear to anyone because everybody has gone to sleep and all the traders have all gone home. We just heard the noise in the night and we got there and saw that everywhere was on fire.”
It was also gathered that men of the Ondo State Fire Service were not around to put out the fire, while efforts made by the residents to reach to them were unsuccessful.
One the affected traders, who identified herself as Mrs. Janet Olorunfemi, said she just loaded her shop with foodstuffs, adding that she had lost everything to the inferno.
“I was home when somebody called about 12am to inform me that my shop was on fire; so I quickly rushed down. Everything in the shop was destroyed completely,” she said.
The traders called on the state government and other stakeholders to come to their assistance.
In his reaction, the Chairman of the Akure South Local Government Area, Mr. Bayo Alarapon, described the incident as unfortunate.
He said the council would set up a panel to investigate the incident.
He said, “It is very unfortunate that this kind of incident is happened during this hard time of recession. On our own part, we shall look for ways to assist the affected traders.”