An early morning fire on Sunday ravaged and destroyed 32 out of 72 shops worth N500m located at St James Church Cathedral Shopping complex, Agbokojo Road, Ogunpa, Ibadan, Oyo state.
According to reports, the fire started from one of the single storey shopping complexes, around 2.00 a.m allegedly from an electrical spark from an unidentifiable shop.
Among the affected structures were shops, offices and warehouses with full stock of agricultural produce, chemicals, sprayers, provisions, building materials, mobile phones accessories, shoe materials, hair extensions (popularly referred to as weave-ons) and store of a plywood supplier on the ground floor of the complex.
According to reports, one of the night security guards and few neighbours living around the area noticed heavy smoke oozing out from the roof of the shops, and they attempted to put it out but when they realised that it was beyond human control, they informed the Fire Service station at Molete, Ibadan.
Intervention, however, did not come on time, leading to the heavy losses by the shop owners.
Representatives of the state government, Secretary to the Oyo State Government and the Special Adviser to Governor Abiola Ajimobi on security matters, Olalekan Alli and Segun Bolarinwa, visited the scene Sunday afternoon to ascertain the level of destruction first hand.