The Scottsboro Fire Department confirmed that eight people were dead, the Associated Press reported.
Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office told the outlet that two bodies were retrieved from the water. Seven other people were rescued alive from the water and taken to local medical centers for burns and possible hypothermia, Scottsboro Fire Chief Gene Necklaus told CNN.
“We’re trying to get divers down here to search for possible victims,” Harnen told the Associated Press. Multiple people jumped in the water to escape the blaze, he said.
The sheriff’s office is going through a list of residents to confirm their locations, Necklaus told CNN.
Breaking. Deadly fire in Scottsboro at Lake Guntersville in Jackson Co. 35 boats destroyed— Pat Simon WAAY 31 News (@PatSimonWAAY31) January 27, 2020
A lot are house boats
7 people sent to hospital - they jumped off boats and the dock
7 people unaccounted for
17* agencies involved. Photo courtesy of viewer. @WAAYTV pic.twitter.com/32ctyKonCS
UPDATE: Scottsboro Fire & Rescue has confirmed multiple fatalities. 7 people were taken to the hospital and 7 others are unaccounted for. Waiting to get an exact number of lives lost. 35 boats were destroyed.— Jordan Dafnis (@JordanDafnis) January 27, 2020
Necklaus told CBS News that seven people have been hospitalized and that others were still missing and feared dead.
He confirmed to the Associated Press that those who were known to be missing have been listed as dead.
“That number could go up, because we don’t know how many were on boats [that sank],” he told the news service.
At least 35 vessels, most of which were houseboats, were ravaged in the flames, he told CBS News.
Debris from the dock landed on top of the boats, Harnen told the Associated Press. The aluminum roof and wood structure were destroyed. Crews also were using booms to contain fuel in the water, he said.
The Jackson County Emergency Management Agency is urging the public to avoid areas around Jackson County Park as fire and rescue missions continue.
Due to ongoing firefighting/rescue operations, please avoid the areas around Jackson County Park, both land and water, until further notified.— Jackson County Ala. Emergency Management Agency (@JacksonCoAL_EMA) January 27, 2020