An early morning fire incident on Sunday in the Geri-Alimi area of Ilorin, Kwara State, destroyed goods worth millions of naira stocked in six shops.
The fire, which affected six of the 41 shops in the complex located opposite the Kwara State Art and Culture Centre, reportedly destroyed all the goods in the shops before men of the state fire service got to the scene.
A trader, Mrs Anifat Adetoro, who sold clothes and fashion accessories and claimed to have restocked her shop two days earlier, said she could not recover anything.
She said, “I just bought new goods a few days ago to enable me to meet up with December demands; I received a call from one of my neighbours around 5.23am when I woke up to perform early morning prayer, and I was told that fire was burning our shops. We met operatives of the fire service on ground trying to quench the inferno. If not for them, almost all shops in this building would have been destroyed.”
She noted that the burnt goods in her shop were worth over N3m, as she solicited the support of the state government and well-meaning Nigerians to recover her losses.
Another victim, Mr Owolabi Akeem, who sold animal drugs, feeds and poultry equipment, said, “I got a call around 5.30am and I was devastated with what I met. I don’t even know what’s next for me.”
He valued the goods in his shop at over N4m.
Confirming the incident, the Head of Media and Publicity, Kwara State Fire Service, Hassan Adekunle, said, “Today, December 5, 2021, the Kwara State Fire Service saved a shopping complex located at Gari-Alimi, Opposite Art and Culture, Ilorin.
“It was DPO ‘B’ Division of the Nigeria Police Force, Kwara State Command, Ilorin, who summoned the brigade to the scene around 05.35am.
“Firemen were able to eliminate the ravaging fire on time. And out of 41 shops, only six in the shopping complex were affected.”
He said the inferno was caused by an electric surge from one of the affected shops.