Properties worth millions of naira were destroyed as fire disaster gutted six shops, opposite the Kwara State Art and Culture Centre at Geri-Alimi area in Ilorin, Kwara state capital on Sunday morning.
It was gathered that the incident which happened at midnight had destroyed all goods in the shops before the operatives of the State Fire Service could get to the scene on a rescue mission.
Speaking with our reporter, one of the victims, Mrs Anifat Adetoro, who sells unisex ready-made clothes, fashion accessories and claimed to have restocked goods two days ago to enable her to sell the December market met her shop totally destroyed.
“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 neighbors 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.”
She added that “goods in my shop alone are worth three million-plus; because I also sell jewelries and I just got a jewelries order to deliver to a client in Saki, Oyo state by Monday and all these were destroyed. I want the 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,” she appealed.
Another victim, Mr Owolabi Akeem, who sells animal drugs, feed and poultry equipment said “I got a call around 5:30 am and I was devastated with what I saw. 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. Added that my goods in the shop valued four million Naira above, and on the cause of the inferno, we cannot say precisely. It’s only God that knows the cause.”
Confirming the incident, HOD, media and publicity, Kwara State Fire Service, Hassan Hakeem Adekunle said “today, 5th December, 2021 Kwara State Fire Service saved 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 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 41 shops, only 6 shops in the shopping complex were affected.”
Noting that “the inferno was caused as a result of Electric Surge from one of the shops.”