There was pandemonium halting the Chrismas joy of some traders in Ibadan as fire destroyed the Plank section of Sango Market in the heart of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on Friday.
Eye witness account says more than 200 shops were consumed by the inferno that started in the afternoon at the pick of Christmas festive period.
The Renaissance gathered that many of the affected traders who were at home celebrating the festivity had to rushed to the market when they got information about the fire outbreak.
The fire, which started at about 2.45 p.m raged for more than five hours before it could be put off by men of the Oyo State Fire Service.
The cause of the fire could not be ascertained as at the time of filing this report.
Planks with estimated market value of about N300 million was believed to have been consumed by the fire.
A victim, who is also a trader in the market, Mr Samuel Ojo, said he had just attended to a customer and closed to return home to join his family and celebrate in the afternoon.
“Barely five minute after I arrived home, a got a telephone call that the market is on fire.
“I rushed back, only to find my shop in ruin,” Ojo said, lamenting that he had just lost investment of over N7 million.
Another plank dealer, Mrs Alarape Ilori, who wept uncontrollably and could not give his name said he just filled his shop with new stocks worth N4 million.
“How will I recover the money I just collect from the cooperative to fill my shop now?
“This is very sad and bad way to end a year. I have toiled and suffered throughout the year only to loss all I have laboured for in this fire,” Ilori said.