LAMAR COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - A deadly fire at an Alabama boat dock killed eight people early Monday morning, including a Pine Belt mother of four.
An Oak Grove mother, 38-year-old Amanda Foster, died in the fire at the Jackson County Park Marina in Scottsboro around 12:40 a.m. Monday.
Her 17-year-old son said he couldn’t believe it when he heard the news from his step-aunt.
"I could see it in her face,' Grant Foster said. “She told me ‘I’m sorry.’ I didn’t know what to do. I just froze. I didn’t cry.”
Grant said his mother raised him as a single parent and she was all he had.
“I feel like words can’t explain it,” Graham said. “It’s way past hurt or devastation or sadness. It’s, I can’t explain it.”
Amanda’s step-sister, Monica Howard, said she was told by witnesses that Amanda was trying to help another mom rescue her kids from the burning boat.
“They were asking her to help get the kids off the boat," Howard said. "Throw them off the boat. Get them into the water. The kids were scared. They were saying they can’t swim. They couldn’t swim and she never left their side.”
Howard said Amanda traveled to northeast Alabama to visit her boyfriend, James Kelly.
Kelly told WAFF-TV he was also on the boat with Amanda when a burning boat struck their boat.
“I ran inside and shut the door,” Kelly said. “And I didn’t know that I was sealing a coffin. I had no idea what was going to happen.”
Kelly described what he remembered from the tragic next moments.
“The kitchen window exploded,” Kelly continued. “And when it exploded, it shot smoke and fire into the cabin, which separated me from the rest of them. I started screaming, ‘Get out, get out, get out.’”
At least seven people escaped the fire that destroyed 35 boats, according to WAFF.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.