Investigation into dock fire at Val Monte Marina in Guntersville underway, will take time

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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala.  -- A large dock fire over the weekend left charred remains at Val Monte Marina in Guntersville, and fire officials are in the early stages of the investigation. There isn't word yet on what could have caused it.

The remains of the fire look about the same Monday morning as they did Saturday morning, after firefighters with Guntersville Fire and Rescue worked through the night to contain it. More than 20 boats were lost to the flames. No one was injured.

"There were a large amount of boats that were already involved," Guntersville Fire and Rescue Chief Brian Waldrop said, "Within the hour, everything was pretty much under control. We were just very thankful that no more damage was done."

The investigation is complex. "This circumstance is going to take a lot of time. It's kind of hard to predict how long it will take due to the amount of boats that were involved, and them being in the water and submerged," Waldrop said.

The marina, located near The Pointe and Top O' The River restaurants on Lake Guntersville, had a similar situation several years ago when a fire broke out in an area adjacent to the current damaged docks.

As for this fire, it could have been a lot worse than it was. "They did a fantastic job of containing the fire and not letting it spread to some of the unburned areas," Waldrop said.

Officials say the fuel that was leaked from the boats was contained. Foul play isn't suspected.

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