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Investigators rule out 4 sunken boats as fire starter in deadly Scottsboro fire

Investigators have located the boat they believe started the fire and are in contact with the owner.

Posted: Jan 31, 2020 7:33 PM
Updated: Jan 31, 2020 8:28 PM

Investigators are analyzing one boat in particular that could have started the deadly fire that killed 8 people in Jackson County.

They retrieved and found this boat Wednesday. 

So far, they have ruled out the possibility the 4 boats still underwater have anything to do with starting the fire.

The Jackson County EMA Director told WAAY 31 investigators contacted the owner of the boat, but there is still no information they can give as to how the fire started.

"We're working to get to those boats and hooked up and pulled out. They don't have any evidentiary value to the investigation at this time so they'll grapple them and pull them out of the water and put them on the barge," says Paul Smith, the Jackson County EMA Director.

We asked him if any criminal charges will be brought against the owner of the boat, and he told us we needed to ask the state Fire Marshal and Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Explosive agencies.

We also asked what evidence points to this one boat as the origin of the fire, and was again directed to the state Fire Marshal and ATF.

Investigators with both agencies spent the day on site but told me they’re not ready to make any type of statement on the investigation.

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