BREAKING NEWS – Several people died this morning in a fire that destroyed at least 35 vessels at a boat dock in Scottsboro, Alabama.
“There were numerous people rescued from the water who had escaped by going into the water,” said Jackson County Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Rocky Harnen. “We’re trying to get divers down here to search for possible victims in the water.”
“We have some confirmed fatalities, but we don’t have an exact number yet,” Harnen added. “We have several people who were taken to the hospital from being in the water, and some had minor burns.”
The Jackson County Emergency Management Agency warned in a tweet that “due to ongoing firefighting/rescue operations, please avoid the areas around Jackson County Park, both land and water, until further notified.”
Officers said earlier seven people were hospitalized and seven others were missing.
Harnen added that officials are trying to account for about seven people who had places on the dock.
“They had slips here,” Harnen said. “That doesn’t mean they’re in the water and it doesn’t mean they’re dead. We’re making attempts to find them.”
It’s also been a challenge for rescuers to reach the victims, as an aluminum roof over the dock has collapsed.
The cause of the blaze was not immediately clear.
The park on the Tennessee River includes a boat ramp, a dock and a restaurant, and offers boat rentals.
This is a breaking news story and more information will be released at a later time.
(Picture in story by Mandy Durham)