Goods worth millions of naira were burnt in an inferno that swept through the popular Dugbe Market in Ibadan, Oyo State capital on Wednesday.
NAN reports that the fire, which was said to have started at about 2.pm, was put out at about 4.05 pm by a combined team of firefighters from the Oyo State Fire Service, Central Bank of Nigeria and Sweetco.
According to eyewitnesses, a spark from a welder’s shop had ignited the fire, which quickly spread to other shops in the market.
It was also reported that several stores filled with beddings, clothes, furniture, electronics and travelling bags were destroyed in the incident.
A Deputy Director in the Oyo State Fire Service, Mr. Moshood Adewuyi, said the traders failed to call the service immediately after the fire started.
He said, “I wonder why a fire incident that happened in the afternoon destroyed so much goods before the fire service was called.
“If it was in the night that the incident happened, it would have been an excuse because we would have said the owners were not there.
“But the shop owners were trying to put out the fire on their own and when it failed, they decided to call the fire service after it had destroyed all the shops with goods.
“When we came, some shop owners were seen trying to pull out their goods from the stores.”
However, Mr Oriola Bodunrin, a shop owner stated the fire station at Aleshinloye Market was contacted, adding that officers there claimed they had no water.
He commended the firefighters who later came to the rescue for putting out the fire.