There were crying and confusion as fire razed the popular Araromi auto spare parts market at Agodi-Gate, Ibadan at dawn on Saturday.
Traders, scavengers and those living close to the market reportedly trooped to the scene as the fire raged.
The distressed traders were said to have called the attention of the Oyo State Fire Service to the scene of the incident as the people made frantic efforts to put out the fire.
The traders and sympathisers soon became helpless due to water shortage. Efforts to salvage the goods and wares in the shops were futile as the fire continued with intensity.
On their arrival at the Agodi Gate Area of the market, the firemen had difficulty in getting close to the point of the fire as fire trucks could not access the spot. Fire trucks parked at about half kilometres as two teams from the state fire service dragged water hose to the market.
Efforts to battle the inferno was difficult as the fire flared with intensity by inflammable materials.
Officials of the state fire service said the outbreak was caused by a power surge that emanated from one of the shops in the popular market.
It was learnt that electricity supply was restored to the market recently after several years of blackout.
A Toyota spare parts dealer in the market, who gave his name simply as Samson, said the last time such an incident was witnessed in the market was in 1983. “It was even not at a large scale like this,” Sampson said.
Items that were destroyed by the inferno include fairly used tyres and other spare parts.