Millions gone as fire razes Kuto market

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A midnight fire at the seedy Kuto market, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, has destroyed over a dozen shops and goods worth millions of naira.

It was gathered that the fire started at about 10 pm and destroyed shops where bags of rice, garri, plastic, beverages and yam flour, among others, were kept.

Firemen, who arrived at the scene shortly after, contained the fire and prevented further damage.

Some of the affected traders said they had just stocked up for Yuletide sales.

The Iyaloja of Kuto Market, Chief Isiwatu Adewuyi, appealed to the government to assist the victims.

A trader, simply identified as Sola, told reporters that he learnt about the fire before midnight but was unable to salvage his goods.

“I received a call around 10:58pm that the market was burning and my shop was among those affected. I left my house at Ilogbo in my underwear and when I got to the market, I could not do anything to salvage the situation.

“Many people were around to assist us. It was a sad experience. The shops belong to Mama Azeez, a.k.a. Omojoyibo. We delivered about 400 bags of rice to the shop on Sunday and on Monday; another 150 bags were delivered to the shop.

“Now, we have lost 550 bags. Shop owners beside us also went to buy goods on Monday. The plastic seller loaded two shops and another woman beside her selling pots, stoves and other household utensils had a full stock of goods in her shops.

“As I’m speaking with you, three of the shop owners have been taken to hospitals for shock and right now, we don’t know their condition.

“Three trucks of water came from the fire station, but they could not put outthe fire,” he said.

Ibara Divisional Police Officer Moses Aduroja, who led a team to the market, sympathised with the victims and advised them to take an inventory of what was destroyed in the fire.

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