SCOTTSBORO, Ala (WHNT)- In northern Alabama, the search continues for victims of a devastating fire that destroyed nearly three dozens boats and sent people screaming and diving into the water.
Many of the victims were living on house boats.
It took minutes for the fire to burn down the Alabama boat dock, at least eight people are dead and 35 boats destroyed.
Some people jumped into the frigid waters of the Tennessee River to escape flames fueled by exploding gas and propane tanks.
“Screaming. Just people screaming, ‘Help!’” recalls witness Julie Jackson. “And there . . . there’s nothing anybody could do.”
“We arrived to find multiple boats on fire. The fire started on the shore side of the dock which caused access problems for fire fighting crews,” said Scottsboro Fire Chief Gene Necklaus.
The early morning fire started as people were sleeping. Many of them live on their boats year-round .
Necklaus says seven people were pulled from the water.
Search teams are still on the scene checking every boat that sank for victims
Chief Necklaus also says that number could go up because they don’t know how many were on boats that sank.