A $110,000 reward is now being offered by multiple parties in the unsolved 2018 Iconic Village Apartment fire that killed five residents in San Marcos.
As officials continue their search for those responsible, they hope the $100,000 increase spurs movement in the case and leads to a break in the investigation.
“We hope this will be enough to help move the investigation forward,” said Mike Widdell, assistant agent in charge of the Houston bureau of the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) and Explosives. “At this time, we are one phone call away from having this investigation solved or moved forward … one tip away from having this go forward and solved.”
Kelly Kisner, San Marcos Fire Marshal, said the increase in reward came as a result of donations from the community. Along with a combined $50,000 donation from the ATF and city of San Marcos, officials received $10,000 from the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce and $10,000 from families of victims. Roughly $40,000 was given by an anonymous donor, Kisner said.
“We have never stopped in this investigation and will never stop. We will continue to find the answers,” Kisner said. “We will see this through to the end.”
In November 2018, local, state and federal authorities announced a $10,000 reward after determining the Iconic Village fire was intentionally set.
The fire, which occurred July 22, 2018, killed five people, injured several others and displaced more than 200. At this time, authorities have not released information on where or how the fire was set.
Kisner said the initial $10,000 reward generated several tips that were “worked and followed up on.” However, Kisner did not go into detail on what those tips generated.
Authorities have purposefully withheld certain pieces of information in order to avoid hindering the investigation, Kisner said. However, Widdell said law enforcement does not have any suspects at this time.
“We keep that information close with the investigation team, so when we do find the right person and they give us that information of what happened, it’s accurate and truthful,” Kisner said.
However, Kisner said investigative work by ATF and local officials allowed authorities to dive into the criminal component of the case. One challenge was it took several months before law enforcement determined the fire was incendiary and was intentionally set.
Authorities are also finding new pieces of information “every day” and follow up on those clues, Kisner said.
“We’re trying to get through this investigation and we hope people help provide that one key piece of information to develop the final suspect,” Widdell said.