Sheriff: We Have Fatalities After Massive Dock Fire

Blaze destroys about 3 dozen boats in Scottsboro, Ala.
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2020 9:03 AM CST
7 Missing After Massive Dock Fire
This photo provided by Mandy Durham shows a fire burning on a dock where at least 35 vessels, many of them houseboats, were destroyed by fire early Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, in Scottsboro, Ala.   (Mandy Durham via AP)

(Newser) – A dock fire in Scottsboro, Ala., was both huge and deadly, but authorities don't know how bad just yet. “We have some confirmed fatalities, but we don't have an exact number yet,”Jackson County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Rocky Harnen tells the AP. The blaze along the Tennessee River at Jackson County Park began about 12:30am and destroyed 35 boats, reports WHNT. "There were numerous people rescued from the water who had escaped by going into the water," says Harnen. "We're trying to get divers down here to search for possible victims in the water."

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The initial count has seven people taken to the hospital for non-life-threatening burns and injuries, plus another seven people missing. "They had slips here," explains Harnen. “That doesn't mean they're in the water and it doesn't mean they're dead. We're making attempts to find them.” The AP describes the locale as a riverfront community, complete with restaurant, and many people were apparently sleeping when the fire broke out. (Read more Alabama stories.)

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