The Sokoto Fire Service has confirmed a fire outbreak which gutted part of the old market in Sokoto and destroyed about 20 shops.
Mr Mustapha Abubakar, the Head of Operations in Sokoto Fire Service, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday that the inferno started at about 11:00 p.m on Monday and lasted till about 2:00 a.m on Tuesday.
Abubakar said that the affected shops included those belonging cosmetics and cloth traders, adding that officials were at the scene investigating the cause of the incident and the damages.
He said that accurate report would be issued on the incident.
Abubakar said fire fighters made efforts to put out the inferno throughout the night.
He commended members of the traders union and sister agencies for the support and prayed against recurrence.
The operations officer warned members of the public against reporting fire incidents late.
He also warned against blocking the movement of fire fighting engines during incidents.
Abubakar advised that people should not engage a fire before informing the agency, noting that the situation usually led to fire escalation before arrival of fire fighters.
NAN reports that traders besieged the affected site, counting their losses and assisting victims on temporary arrangements to re-settle.
None of the traders responded to press inquiries as remnants were being evacuated.