Devastating Update: Guntersville Marina Victims Include Mother And Her Five Children

Mike Bolton | January 29, 2020

Heartbreaking news this morning from Alabama as family members confirmed that a mother and her five children are among the victims of the Guntersville Marina fire.

Annette Miles, 40, and children Zane Long, 19, Bryli Long, 16, Traydon Miles, 10, Kesston Miles, 9, and Dezli Miles, 7, were among the eight people killed, according to family members. The father, Joe Miles, was rescued from the water with burns.

Kayla Wormsley, Joe’s sister-in-law, has established a GoFundMe to support the family, where Wormsley wrote, “The vessel the family was on became engulfed in flames after an attempt to escape, and their father, Joe Miles was rescued from the water with burns. He has lost his home, everything he owns, everything was replaceable, except for his family.” Jackson County Coroner John Jordan confirmed four of the victims were minors ages 7, 9, 10 and 16.

The other two victims have been identified as Amanda Foster, age 38, and Yancey Ferrell Roper, age 54.

Original Story Posted Tuesday Morning: Law Enforcement officials said that at least eight people are dead after a fire fueled by exploding boat gas tanks and propane tanks roared through a north Alabama marina early Monday morning.

The fire destroyed an estimated 35 boats moored at Jackson County Park Marina in Scottsboro on the banks of Lake Guntersville. Many people there lived on houseboats or cabin cruisers or used them for weekend getaways. Seven people were treated at local hospitals and were not seriously injured, officials said.

Gene Necklaus, the Scottsboro fire chief, said at an 11:30 a.m. press conference this morning that fire fighters were called to the dock at 12:40 a.m.

Witnesses said the docks were consumed in fire in 15 to 20 minutes. They reported hearing screams and multiple explosions. One witness said that all the boats there have propane tanks and gas tanks and that fueled the fire.

Several witnesses said they were duck hunters and were using the boats in the marina as a place to stay overnight. One duck hunter said his crew was able to get their boat away from the burning dock, but it collided with a burning boat and their boat caught on fire. He said he was forced to jump into the frigid water and swim 60 yards before he was rescued by another boat.

The cause of the fire is unknown. The Scottsboro Fire Department, local police and the State Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating the cause. Approximately 20 local, state and regional agencies were on the scene Monday morning.

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