San Marcos apartment fire victims identified

Four of the five people who had been reported missing following the July 20 San Marcos apartment fire have now been identified as victims, according to a city of San Marcos press release.

As authorities continue to comb through the rubble, an investigation involving multiple state and federal entities is starting to ramp up.

On July 26, San Marcos officials identified Haley Michele Frizzell, 19, of San Angelo, David Ortiz, 21, of Pasadena, Dru Estes, 20, of San Antonio, and James Miranda, 24, of Mount Pleasant, as victims in the fire. Frizzell, Ortiz and Estes were all Texas State University students; all four victims lived in building 500 of the Iconic Village Apartments, which was the most heavily damaged. A fifth victim recovered from the scene remains unidentified pending DNA analysis, according to officials.

The four victims were identified by the Travis County Medical Examiner’s office in conjunction with Hays County Pct. 1.2 Justice of the Peace Maggie H. Moreno.

Belinda Moats, 22, of Big Wells, remains listed as missing by authorities.

More than 200 people were displaced by the fire, which heavily damaged the Iconic Village and Vintage Pads apartments, located near the Texas State campus. In a statement, Dr. Joanne Smith, Texas State vice president of student affairs, said a number of services were made available to students affected by the fire.

Smith extended condolences to the families and friends of the victims, mirroring sentiments expressed earlier in the week from Texas State University President Denise Trauth

“The support and comfort accorded to them and everyone affected, has come from the San Marcos community and hundreds of people like you who have donated funds to assist in their recovery,” Smith said in her statement. “Thank you to those who have lent a helping hand, and if you are able to make a contribution to the Student Emergency Services fund to aid students, please do so.”

A cause of the fire is unknown at this time. However, the San Marcos Fire Marshal’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives National Respone Team (ATF) and the State Fire Marshal’s office, continue investigative operations at the scene.

According to San Marcos officials, once the scene has been processed and clean-up efforts starts, the investigation into the fire could continue for months.

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