Midnight fire on Sunday gutted a shopping complex in Ilorin, Kwara state capital.
The fire in the process destroyed six out of the 41 shops in the complex.
The inferno was said to have been caused by electric surge from one of the shops in the mall located at Gari-Alimi area, opposite the Kwara State Art and Culture Centre of the metropolis.
One of the victims of the incident, who deals on ready-made wears, Mrs Anifat Adetoro, claimed to have restocked goods two days ago ahead of Christmas festivities.
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 5:23 am when I woke up to perform early morning prayer, and I was told that fire was burning our shops and we met operatives of fire service on ground trying to quench the inferno as at the time we got here, if not for them, almost all shops in this building would have destroyed”
“Goods in my shop alone worth three million-plus; because I also sell jewelleries and I just got a jeweleries order to deliver to a client in Saki, Oyo state by Monday and all these were destroyed. I want government and well to do people in the society to please come to my assistant because this is all my life, our kindhearted governor should please come to our rescue.”
Another victim, Mr Owolabi Akeem, who sells animals drugs, feed and poultry products put the value of what he lost at about four million Naira.
Mr. Akeem said “I got a call around 5:30 am and I was devastated with what I met. I don’t even know what’s next in my life, we will be grateful if the government can come to our support in terms of financial aid to pick up ourselves again.”
Spokesperson of the state Fire Service Hassan Adekunle said the command got wind of the incident through a police officer.
Adekunle said: “It was DPO B’ Division of Nigeria police Force Kwara state command Ilorin who quickly summoned the brigade to the scene of occurrence at about 05:35hrs this morning
“However, firemen were able to eliminate the ravaging fire on time. And out of 41shops Only 6shops in the shopping complex were affected.
“The fire was caused as a result of electric surge from one of the shop.”