Officials give update on environmental impact, deaths from fire at Scottsboro boat dock

The investigation into the deadly fire is officially underway.

Posted: Jan 28, 2020 10:58 AM
Updated: Jan 28, 2020 11:51 AM

UPDATE: The investigation into the deadly fire is officially underway.

Dive teams will remain at the scene while debris, including fuel and oil, are recovered. Officials say this is in case any other bodies are found. The department says this is not expected as there were eight people unaccounted for who we now know are dead. However, what officials can’t account for right now is if any of the victims had guests with them at the time of the fire.

Courtesy of Mandy Durham

Officials are still working to identify the victims who died in the fire. They are not releasing names or ages currently.

The fire chief says there were about 21 to 22 permanent residents at the dock. When fire crews arrived, they noticed the fire appeared closer to the shore and it then spread.

At least one of the victims was a drowning victim. The bodies are significantly damaged, and dental records and DNA may be needed to make identifications.

The chief says most of the bodies were found in boats.

The wood from the dock catching fire contributed to the fast spread, and synthetics and fuels contributed to the heat from the fire.

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management has sampled the water three times since Monday, and it will continue to for the rest of the week until it’s determined there’s no more environmental impact.

Four boats drifted away and sank into the water after the fire. The U.S. Coast Guard recommended officials recover those first on Tuesday.



Officials are giving an update Tuesday on the environmental impact of Monday's fire that claimed eight lives and engulfed 35 boats at Jackson County Park.

Paul Smith, the Jackson County Emergency Management director, and Gene Necklaus, the Scottsboro fire chief, are speaking at the news conference.

You can find the latest on the recovery efforts in Scottsboro here.

Stay with WAAY 31 on air and online for updates.

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