Shops belonging to some local traders in Akure, the Ondo State capital were on Tuesday morning gutted by raging fire.
The fire which razed the shops, occurred around the roadblock junction opposite the Chicken Republic eatery.
The fire incident which started around 2 am also spread into other locked stores and was caused a power surge.
The late arrival of men of the Ondo State Fire Service was said to have worsen the situation as many helpless traders result to self-help.
Lots of goods including properties worth millions of naira that were left inside the shops were burnt beyond recognition.
The shops, it was gathered, were owned by the local traders such as: food sellers, barbers, fashion designers, beer parlour among other business trades.
The traders affected by the incident were seen at the scene, wailing and counting their losses as passerby commiserated with them.
One of the traders, Paul Emmanuel, who was affected by the fire incident, said no fewer than twelve shops were razed.
He disclosed that goods lost to the fire attack included -costly tailoring material, cosmetics, foodstuffs among others.
Mr. Emmanuel stated that the midnight fire started from one of the shops before snowballing into other locked up stores.
He described the inferno as tragic as the traders had newly stocked their shops for sales ahead of the festivities period.
“I was called around 4 am that fire has gutted my shops at roadblock junction.
“By the time I got there, my shops and the other ones have been razed.
“So many goods worth millions of naira have been lost here today and it is very sad and Christmas is around the corner.
“We called the Fire Service Brigade office but they didn’t pick their phone on time and we had to drive down to drag them here,” he added.
Another trader, Mrs. Abimbola Adesanya, described the fire attack as unfortunate adding that goods worth millions were lost.
Adesanya pleaded with the government to assist the affected traders with any financial plans in recovery their trades.
“We are begging Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to assist us because millions of naira have been lost to this fire attack.
“Just imagine, Christmas is around the corner and we have stocked our shops in determination to make sales” she said
‘Tosin Ajuwon, Akure