UPDATE: Authorities find no additional victims as search and rescue concludes

The July 20 Iconic Village and Vintage Pads apartment fire left five dead.

The July 20 Iconic Village and Vintage Pads apartment fire left five dead.

UPDATED July 24, 5:48 p.m. 

The City of San Marcos announced that its rescue teams have finished searching all the buildings at Iconic Village Apartments and Vintage Pads Apartments that were affected by the fire and have found no additional victims.

UPDATED 5:42 p.m.

The city of San Marcos said a fifth body has been recovered from the scene of Friday's apartment fire, and recovery efforts will continue until all areas are searched and cleared.

The bodies have not been identified. They have been transported to the Travis County Medical Examiner's office and positive identification could take more than a week.

No origin or possible cause have been identified. Officials said the investigation could take months.


Four bodies have been recovered in the aftermath of a fire that started early Friday morning at the Iconic Village Apartments, San Marcos Fire Marshal Kelly Kistner announced at a press conference Monday morning. On Sunday, officials had reported three bodies found.

The fire, first reported at 4:27 a.m., destroyed more than 100 apartments and left more than 200 residents—predominantly Texas State University studentswithout a home.

None of the bodies have been identified, and it is unknown if any of the five missing are among them. All four bodies were found in Building 500 of Iconic Village Apartments. Rescuers are still in the process of searching Building 300, but Building L of Vintage Pads, which was also damaged by the fire, has been cleared.

Mayor John Thomaides, who also spoke Monday, said he was “deeply shaken by the outcome of the tragic events”  and asked the public to “please pray for their friends, their classmates and their teachers.”

Investigators do not yet know “how or why” the fire began, Fire Marshal Kistner said, but Fire Chief Les Stephens later added that more than 50 agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have joined the investigation.

Officials also said there were no sprinklers in the complex, which is permitted by law because it was compliant with the building codes in place when it was built in 1970.

Dr. Jean Bourgeois of Texas State University directed students affected by the fire to its website for information on how to obtain support and find services. The city is also hosting a resource center on Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., at the San Marcos Activity Center with representatives from the American Red Cross, the Austin Disaster Relief Network, Texas State Dean of Students Office, the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter, the Blanco River Regional Recovery Team and other groups. The Texas Department of Public Safety will also have a mobile driver’s license replacement unit on-site. No media will be permitted to attend.

San Marcos Emergency Management Coordinator Rachel Ingle asked that anyone wishing to give monetary donations go to the website for the Blanco River Regional Recovery Team (https://www.br3t.org/), click on the “Donate” button, and enter “iconic” in the comments section. All funds collected will be distributed at the resource center to those in need.

On Monday the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce sent an email with several other donation opportunities. Hays County asked that restaurants willing to serve first responders email [email protected]. There are also collections sites for clothing, toiletries and household items at Mochas & Javas, 700 N. LBJ Drive, and at the Westover Baptist Church, 1310 Advance St.
By Katharine Jose
Katharine Jose has written about politics, infrastructure, environment, development, natural disasters and other subjects for The New York Observer, Capital New York, and The New York Times, among other publications. She was an editor for several publicat