As many were celebrating, others were counting their losses in Akure the Ondo state capital, as a Christmas day fire razed down multiple shops.
The fire which started at about 10:30 am according to eyewitnesses razed down up to 10 shops around Obanla junction, Oba Adesida road of the town, destroying properties worth millions of Naira.
Even though the immediate cause of the fire could not be ascertained, members of the Ondo State Fire Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), and residents were seen doing their best to put out the fire when SUNSHINE HERALD got to the scene of the inferno.
Affected in the inferno are bookshops and another shop where plastic containers are being sold.
Speaking with SUNSHINE HERALD, the Chief Fire Officer of the Ondo State Fire Service Philip Adanlowo, said his men got to the scene of the fire immediately they got a distress call.
Also speaking, Femi Igbekele, of the fire emergency department of the NSCDC said his men came to the scene of the fire after he discovered smoke coming out from one of the buildings. He further confirmed that electric power was off then, so the fire could not have been caused by electrical fault.
While the fire was being put out, men of the fire service brought out a keg of petrol kept in one of the shops. According to them, that was not the only petrol kept in the shops, and this could have been the cause of the rapid spread of the fire.
Owners of shops within affected by the fire who did not speak with our reporter were seen salvaging what is left of their burnt shop.
Some of the remnants of the burnt shops
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Cars and trucks were brought to pack goods which were left unburn as firefighters try their best to quell the fire.
Residents were also seen lamenting the inadequacy of the fire service.
Rumbles of the fire
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SUNSHINE HERALD had an earlier report about the deplorable state of the fire service in the state, with the service having only one functional vehicle in the whole of Akure and no chemicals needed to fight fire incidents.
Speaking with SUNSHINE HERALD, the Commissioner for Works in the state, Taofeek Abdusalam said the state will reposition the fire service to optimum capacity in 2018.