A houseboat fire in northeast Alabama has caused at least eight fatalities, several hospitalizations and damage to nearly three dozen vessels, authorities say.

First responders were on the scene shortly after midnight local time at Guntersville Lake, about 70 miles southwest of Chattanooga, Tenn., WHNT reported. The entire B-dock was destroyed, according to the station. The fire spread to it from a houseboat, authorities said.

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.

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.

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