8 people killed, 35 boats destroyed in fire at Scottsboro boat dock

UPDATE: Authorities confirm eight people are dead from the fire. 

The boats destroyed range from house boats to pontoons. Seven people were recovered from the water and transported to Highlands Medical Center. They were treated for minor injuries related to hypothermia and were released.

Courtesy of Mandy Durham

Authorities say the new information does not mean the recovery effort is over. Crews will be checking the entire lake and making sure everyone is accounted for. They are checking debris and boats as they pull them out.

It could take three to four days, if not longer, to remove the boats from the water. After this is completed, fire officials will begin an investigation into the cause of the fire.

The public is asked to avoid the area.

Michael P. Knight, spokesman for the National Center for Explosives Training and Research, sent this news release about the investigation:  "ATF Certified Fire Investigators (CFI) from the National Center for Explosives Training and Research (NCETR) located in Huntsville, AL responded to the fire related incident. The CFI’s will work with our state and local counterparts to determine the origin and cause of the fire scene. The determination will be based on the combination of the items recovered as part of the scene processing along with interviews and witness accounts. The CFI’s regular train and conduct research on fire related issues with our state and local fire counterparts at the NCETR facility in Huntsville, AL. The presence of ATF does not necessary indicate there was a crime committed."

-------------

FROM EARLIER: 

The number of people unaccounted for is now eight. The number of deaths is unknown currently.

These numbers could change as officials determine if there were unknown guests on the boats.

Authorities say the scene and any fuel or chemicals that may have leaked into the water are contained right now. Marine salvage companies are at the scene with equipment to help pull the boats out of the water.

Jackson County Emergency Management Director Paul Smith says the boats and debris have to be moved so divers can get in the water.

"What's left of the boats have to be removed from the slips so that the divers can go down and continue their recovery underneath the docks," he said.

The park is closed Monday and is only open for first responders and those who have reason to be out there.

We’re told several community groups are pitching in to provide food for first responders. The Red Cross is also stepping in to assist.

To see more photos of the fire, click here. If you have your own photos to share, email them to share@waaytv.com.

-------------

ORIGINAL STORY:

First responders are on the scene of a fire at the Jackson County Park in Scottsboro where officials say several people are confirmed dead.

We're told seven people were transported to the hospital and seven are still unaccounted for.

According to Scottsboro's Fire Chief, Gene Necklaus, 35 boats were destroyed in a fire Monday morning. Officials say most of the boats destroyed are house boats. 

"Absolutely devastating, at least in my experience...one of the most devastating things I’ve ever seen,” said Necklaus.

Crews say the fire started close to the shoreline, which made it difficult for them to access it.

Seventeen agencies responded to the scene, including the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Jackson County Emergency Management, Scottsboro police, Rosalie Fire, Scottsboro Fire, Stevenson Fire, Highlands Medical Center, Jackson County commissioners, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Marine Patrol and the DeKalb County Coroner's Office.

Crews are expected to be at the scene all day and possibly all week. 

Stay with WAAY 31 online and on air for updates. 

Huntsville
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 92°
Florence
Clear
93° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 96°
Fayetteville
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 86°
Decatur
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 92°
Scottsboro
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 91°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6219167
Mobile4625138
Montgomery4397111
Tuscaloosa258652
Madison19839
Marshall190411
Shelby155724
Lee153537
Morgan12415
Baldwin117011
Walker105631
Elmore100721
Dallas9789
Franklin92816
Etowah91914
DeKalb8647
Russell6650
Chambers66427
Autauga66214
Butler64529
Tallapoosa62569
Unassigned61627
Limestone5963
Houston5616
Lauderdale5556
Cullman5546
St. Clair4842
Colbert4816
Lowndes48022
Escambia4688
Pike4675
Calhoun4565
Coffee4164
Covington40312
Jackson4022
Barbour3772
Bullock37610
Dale3721
Talladega3677
Hale34323
Marengo34211
Clarke3036
Wilcox2998
Chilton2952
Winston2925
Sumter28713
Blount2811
Marion26714
Pickens2626
Monroe2553
Randolph2489
Conecuh2278
Perry2242
Bibb2151
Macon2129
Choctaw20912
Greene1929
Henry1463
Washington1367
Crenshaw1263
Lawrence1210
Cherokee1157
Geneva950
Lamar871
Clay822
Fayette811
Coosa631
Cleburne421
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 59546

Reported Deaths: 723
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby13113219
Davidson12935142
Rutherford342839
Hamilton319637
Sumner187456
Williamson167016
Knox15069
Trousdale15065
Out of TN139710
Wilson113017
Putnam10027
Unassigned9362
Bradley9254
Robertson90113
Sevier8843
Montgomery7127
Lake6960
Tipton6926
Bledsoe6271
Bedford5989
Macon5686
Hamblen4474
Maury4313
Hardeman4004
Fayette3573
Madison3472
Loudon3201
Blount3063
Rhea3030
Dyer2803
McMinn27018
Cheatham2643
Dickson2510
Washington2350
Lawrence2276
Cumberland2004
Anderson1892
Sullivan1892
Lauderdale1754
Gibson1661
Jefferson1641
Monroe1526
Smith1482
Greene1382
Coffee1370
Cocke1300
Hardin1257
Warren1200
Obion1182
Haywood1132
Franklin1103
Wayne1100
Marshall1082
Hickman1010
McNairy1001
Marion914
Giles891
Carter871
Lincoln840
Hawkins832
DeKalb820
White813
Roane800
Overton701
Weakley691
Claiborne680
Campbell671
Grundy652
Henderson650
Chester590
Unicoi560
Grainger550
Polk550
Carroll521
Henry500
Crockett493
Cannon460
Jackson460
Johnson450
Sequatchie450
Humphreys392
Meigs370
Perry370
Morgan301
Decatur280
Fentress270
Stewart270
Scott260
Union220
Houston200
Clay180
Moore170
Benton151
Hancock110
Lewis100
Van Buren90
Pickett70

 

 

Community Events