UPDATE: August 3, 4:25 p.m.
Belinda Moats has been identified as the fifth victim of the Iconic Village Apartments fire.
The Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office, in coordination with Justice of the Peace Maggie H. Moreno identified Moats as the last victim of the fire.
UPDATE: July 31, 10:00 a.m.
The on-scene portion of the investigation of the Iconic Village and Vintage Pads apartments fire has concluded, according to fire officials.
The San Marcos Fire Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, San Marcos Fire Marshal, San Marcos Police Department, State Fire Marshal’s Office, and National Response Team worked in conjunction to perform the investigation.
The National Response Team determined the cause but cannot release it until the investigation is concluded, which is pending laboratory testing and analysis. No further details are available on the on-going investigation.
During the on-scene investigation, officials confirmed the building was in compliance with a property code that mandates the battery-powered smoke alarms be placed within individual apartments. Records from the Iconic Village management company indicate the complex had recently performed inspections. Further records show the building last underwent a property and fire inspection in May 2014.
Anyone with information that could aid the investigation is encouraged to reach out to the San Marcos Fire Marshall’s Office at 512.805.2600.
UPDATE: July 26, 6:00 p.m.
Four victims of the Iconic Village and Vintage Pads apartment have been identified, according to city officials.
The Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office, in coordination with Justice of the Peace Maggie H. Moreno, identified the victims July 26 and is still identifying the fifth victim.
The victims have been identified as Haley Michele Frizzell of San Angelo, David Ortiz of Pasadena, Dru Estes of San Antonio and James Miranda of Mount Pleasant.
Belinda Moats of Big Wells, born Aug. 24, 1996, is still listed as missing.
The five victims were found in Building 500 of Iconic Village Apartments. City officials have been in constant communication with family members since Friday, July 20.
UPDATE: July 24, 6:00 p.m.
Fire officials have completed their search of the Iconic Village and Vintage Pads Apartments and have found no additional victims following the July 20 fire.
The five bodies found are still at the Travis County Medical Examiner’s office undergoing autopsy and identification. Additionally, no cause for the fire has been concluded, as the investigation is still ongoing.
UPDATE: July 23, 5:36 p.m.
A fifth body has been recovered at the scene of the deadly fire, according to city officials.
Investigators will continue recovery efforts until the entire area has been searched and cleared.
Additionally, Texas State President Denise Trauth released a statement on the fires, passing along information from city officials and announcing her sorrow.
“The entire university community mourns the loss of these lives, and we send our deepest condolences to the families and friends,” the release states. “We also send our wishes for a speedy recovery to those injured by the fire and who are still recovering.”
Students in need of emotional support can contact the Counseling Center at 512.245.5008.
UPDATE: July 23, 12:00 p.m.
A fourth body has been found in the aftermath of the Iconic Village Apartments fire, according to city officials.
City officials, including Mayor John Thomaides, San Marcos Fire Marshall Kelly Kistner and Fire Chief Les Stephens, confirmed the fourth body was recovered late Sunday night and said none of the four have been properly identified yet. All four bodies were found in Building 500, which sustained the most damage.
“The four victims are in the building that was affected by the fire, which we refer to as Building 500,” Kistner said. “We do not know what the total number of victims will be. We’re gonna search until we know we’re done.”
Kistner said Building L has been cleared and the search operations are done in that building and that the investigation is still on-going. He also said they will be on the ground until Friday and maybe longer and that the investigation may continue for weeks or even months after they leave the scene itself.
“This morning, as we stand here, we do not know where the fire started at this time,” Kistner said. “That is still part of the on-going investigation. We do not know where or how the fire started. We have no speculation, so we provide no speculation.”
UPDATE: July 22, 2:45 p.m.
Fire investigators found three bodies early July 22 in the rubble of the Iconic Village and Vintage Pads Apartments fire, according to city officials.
The July 21 fire displaced 200 residents, with five student residents remaining missing. National, state and local agencies are working on the scene to identify the cause.
Hays County Justice of the Peace Maggie H. Moreno declared the three victims deceased at the scene. After which, the bodies were transported to the Travis County Medical Examiner’s office for autopsy and identification.
Trey Hatt, communications specialist for the City of San Marcos, said the bodies have yet to be identified, so there isn’t any confirmation if the three bodies are connected with the five missing students.
The City of San Marcos will host a press conference Monday at an undetermined time and will give an update. The University Star will continue to update as this story develops.