Alabama fire leaves several dead, destroys at least 35 boats, officials say

Alabama dock fire: 7 injured, multiple victims feared dead

A dock fire in Scottsboro, Alabama destroys 35 house boats with the fire department fearing multiple fatalities.

Several people died Monday in an ongoing fire that has destroyed at least 35 vessels at a boat dock in Alabama, officials say.

The massive blaze that broke out this morning in Scottsboro has consumed mostly houseboats, according to Scottsboro Fire Chief Gene Necklaus.

"There were numerous people rescued from the water who had escaped by going into the water," Jackson County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Rocky Harnen told The Associated Press shortly after dawn. "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.”

Necklaus said earlier that 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 damage from the dock has fallen on top of the boats, and some of the boats have drifted off," Harnen told the Associated Press.

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, according to Jackson County's government website.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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