SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — On Friday, the San Marcos Fire Marshal issued a mandatory evacuation order for the off-campus student housing building Vie Lofts at San Marcos, located at 817 Chestnut St., in response to safety concerns over structural stability — including that of a stairwell.
On Friday evening, city staff and apartment personnel went door-to-door at the complex, located just north of Texas State University, to notify the 162 occupants that they needed to leave. Residents were encouraged to take one bag including essentials and they were encouraged to stay with a family member or friend — or else seek alternative lodging.
Vie Lofts at San Marcos released a statement on Friday night, saying in part:
“The safety of our residents at Vie Lofts at San Marcos is our number one priority. Today we were made aware that the City of San Marcos requested that we shut down our building.
Because of such, until we can confirm that there are no safety issues with our residents, we have set up temporary housing. We are very aware of the inconvenience this may cause our residents and we are doing everything we can to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.”
In a briefing Friday night, Fire Chief Les Stephens explained their move to move residents right away, saying that it was “out of an abundance of condition.”
The chief says that while he’s not clear on what the structural review of the building will be, he knows there will be one.
“We’ll be working closely with the owners in the days to come to set a path forward for them to make the necessary repairs to the building that are require to be occupied for the residents to return to the apartments.”
The chief also explained that an additional stairwell was also currently obstructed from use — another factor that contributed to the evacuation.
Since the onsite apartment office will be closed, apartment management will be onsite for residents from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the San Marcos Police Department Auditorium, 2300 S. I-35.
“Resident safety is of utmost importance when evaluating a structure of this type,” states Fire Marshal Kelly Kistner. “We appreciate the cooperation of residents and their families as we address these life safety issues.”
According to the City of San Marcos, the building will remain evacuated until further notice. Residents can call a recorded hotline at (512) 393-8488 for current information or call apartment management at (737) 484-3930.