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Scottsboro dock fire investigators say witnesses were a big help in the investigation

Wednesday marks one year since this tragic fire killed eight people at a boat dock in Scottsboro. We take a look into the investigation and its challenges.

Posted: Jan 27, 2021 6:03 PM
Updated: Jan 27, 2021 8:39 PM

Wednesday marks one year since a deadly boat fire at the Jackson County Park and Marina.

Bart Barnum, an investigator with the NTSB, explained that they depended heavily on witness interviews. They had to wait until the next day to start gathering those interviews. That's because first responders worked to secure the scene the day of the fire.

Courtesy of Mandy Durham

WAAY 31 watched as they worked to put the fire out and pull people out of the water. The next day, interviews began.

Barnum explained that the people who live there were ready to help.

"I think that's a testament to them personally. They understand that we have a job to do when we get there, and a lot of the people had just experienced the worst day of their lives. And for them, to factually and accurately relive that worst day of their lives to us, I think they understood that it was valuable for us to gather that information to prevent another accident from happening again," said Barnum.

After the initial interviews there, were follow-ups. They completed the report in September, and then, the report needed to be reviewed. The fire was ruled accidental.

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