There are multiple fatalities and eight people unaccounted for after a fire destroyed the B-Dock at the Jackson County Park early Monday morning.
Emergency crews received the call at 12:40 a.m. The call said one boat was on fire, but when responders arrived, several boats were on fire.
Scottsboro Fire Chief Gene Necklaus said the fire started on the shore side of the dock, which caused access problems for emergency responders and evacuation problems for occupants.
Necklaus said several people either swapped boats or jumped into the water to find safety. Of those people, seven were transported to Highlands Medical Center in stable condition. Necklaus said 35 boats were destroyed in the fire.
Necklaus said any chemical or fuel spills had been contained.
“This will be an extremely intense and long operation,” said Necklaus.
Nineteen agencies from all across the state, regional area, and local, were on the scene. Multiple dive teams were on site and in the water conducting searches.
Jackson County Emergency Management Agency Director Paul Smith said they did not know what caused the fire. He said the state fire marshal was there and looking into the cause.
“This is one of the most devastating things I’ve ever seen,” said Necklaus.