Hundreds of shops at the popular Araromi Auto Spare Parts Market at Agodi-Gate, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital have been razed by fire that started in the market at in the early hours of Saturday April 3, 2021.
Eyewitnesses account revealed that the inferno started at midnight and the fire was still raging with fury as at 8:30am when this reporter got to the scene.
Though distress calls were made to the Oyo State Fire Service, the timely response of the fire fighters, however, could not stop the inferno as the road to access the scene have been blocked by auto spare parts that were dumped on the road.
The two teams of fire fire fighters that came to the market parked their trucks at nearest place to the scene and they dragged their water hoses to battle the inferno. But could not really do anything tangible to stop the fire based on lack of access and their water hoses could not get to the scene.
The traders that came to the market were seen packing off the spare parts on the road as at 8:15a.m in order to clear the way for the fire fighters to get to the scene and quench the inferno.
As at the time the first fire truck accessed the scene, the fire had destroyed shops and goods in them for eight and half hours.
According to some traders, the fire was caused by a power surge in one of the shops in the market, adding that the market just had electricity supply restored recently after years of being without light.
A trader, who simply identified himself as Samson and deals in Toyota spare parts in the market, said the last time a similar inferno occurred in the auto spare market was 38 years ago.
A resident of Agodi-Gate, Pelumi Abdullahi, said: “As I gathered, the fire started around 12 midnight and still burning as at 8:30am today. My Uncle’s shop is among the burnt ones. Everything he has in the shop has been burnt. He is betraying emotions now. He does not know where to start again,”
Some other traders have also gathered in the market, watching helplessly as the fire burnt the shops. They cried, wailed and prayed for assistance from the the government.
As at the time of filing this report, fire fighters are still battling to put out the inferno.