3 bodies recovered from San Marcos apartment fire

Hays

AUSTIN (KXAN) —  Fire investigators recovered three bodies Sunday morning in the rubble after a fire at the Iconic Village Apartments that happened early Friday morning. 

City of San Marcos officials said in a press release that Justice of the Peace Maggie H. Moreno pronounced the victims dead at the scene. They were transported to the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office.

On Friday, the city released the names of five people it says were still unaccounted for. Their names are James Miranda, Haley Frizzell, Belinda Moats, David Ortiz and Dru Estes. For anyone looking to help provide information on these people, call 512-754-2291 as soon as possible.

  • Investigators will provide an update at 10 a.m., which KXAN will live stream in this story

On Sunday, the impacted apartments were roped off as a team of investigators went through each floor searching through the damage. 

Search and recovery efforts continued throughout the day. The BATF National Response Team is leading the fire investigation in conjunction with the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the City of San Marcos Fire Marshal. A cause has not been determined as of this time. 

Displaced residents told KXAN that many Texas State students live in those apartments and could often be found playing music in bands at the complex or just hanging out nearby.

One Texas State student displaced in those fires was Shelby Jordan, who explained he lost clothes, toiletries, cookware and dishes in the fire. 

“Our prayers and help goes out to all the families that were not as fortunate,” Jordan said, acknowledging some of his neighbors may not have made it out of the blaze alive. 

He is hopeful that community members step up to make things easier for those who are trying to put their lives back together. 

“Whether that be just saying, ‘Are you ok?’, or just handing them something they can use, anything would be helpful at this point,” Jordan said. 

He noted there are some items that are lacking in the piles of donations that have already been delivered. In particular, Jordan thinks the evacuated residents will need toiletries and school supplies. 

“Toothpaste, toothbrushes — that’s very needed — and bags like backpacks and luggage bags so that people can carry around their donations, since they don’t have a place to stay right now,” Jordan said. 

San Marcos resident Diana Moreno stopped by the scene on Sunday to place a bouquet of flowers there. She has two children who attend Texas State and live in apartments nearby. 

“I just wanted to bring something to put here in honor of them and their families. I just feel so bad that happened,” Moreno said, weeping to think of the residents who lost their lives in the fire.

“I’m praying for them and I can’t understand how something like this would happen,” Moreno said. “And hopefully the whole community will come together and support the family, friends and first responders that are out here.”

Community groups tell KXAN that as of Sunday evening they’ve been overwhelmed with donations and many of the spots that were accepting donations over the weekend are now full. On Monday, community groups say you can bring donations to those impacted by the fire to Hot Spots Locating at 203, 1504 Aquarena Springs Dr., San Marcos, TX 78666. Employees at Mochas and Java’s Coffee at 700 North LBJ Drive in San Marcos also told KXAN they are collecting donations. People interested in donating can drop off bags at their coffee shop. 

The earlier donation spot at a home on LBJ drive said they saw more than 20 impacted families come by Sunday to pick up supplies. They noted that they’ve already received lots of clothing, but donations of toiletries, kitchen supplies and backpacks are especially needed. 

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