Investigation of San Marcos apartment fire shows smoke alarm inspections were recently completed

The investigation continues into the deadly San Marcos apartment fire.

The investigation continues into the deadly San Marcos apartment fire.

The City of San Marcos announced that the on-scene portion of the investigation of the July 20th fire at Iconic Village Apartments and Vintage Pads Apartments has concluded. The fire killed five people and injured at least seven, while leaving more than 200 without a home.

“The city expresses our gratitude to the multitude of agencies and municipalities who assisted in the fire response and particularly to the [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] for their efforts and expertise displayed throughout the investigation,” said City Manager Bert Lumbreras in a written statement.  

The initial investigation found that smoke alarms that are compliant with Texas Property Code 92.255 were installed in individual apartments; that the Iconic Village management company provided reports showing a recent inspection of those fire alarms; that a “property and fire inspection” by the San Marcos Fire Marshal’s office was last done at both complexes on May 6, 2014; and that a Certificate of Occupancy inspection was done on Nov. 24, 2009 when the properties changed ownership.

The “final classification of the fire will be announced in the coming weeks,” according to the statement by the city. “At this time, no further information concerning the ongoing investigation or the details surrounding the investigation will be released.”

More than 50 agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, as well as officials from the National Response Team, San Marcos Fire Marshal, San Marcos Police Department and the State Fire Marshal participated in the investigation. Numerous community organizations, Texas State University, and the City of San Marcos stepped up to help.

Four of the five people that died in the fire have been identified as Haley Michelle Frizzell, 19, David Ortiz, 21, Dru Estes, 20, and James Miranda, 23. A fifth victim remains unidentified pending DNA analysis.

San Marcos has provided links to the Texas Property Code, ICC codes, City code with amendments, and the property and fire inspection reports. The city asks that anyone with information on the fire call the San Marcos Fire Marshal’s office at 512-805-2600.

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