Probe continuing into fatal May 15 house fire in Buda

Dozens of firefighters from Buda, Kyle, Manchaca and San Marcos responded just past dawn on May 15 to a house fire in the 400 block of Overlook Mountain West in Eliot Ranch west of Buda. Arriving fire crews found the home fully engulfed with flames and smoke visible from all sides and the roof, according to a press release issued by the county that morning.

Since then, officials have been mum, except to say that a person found unresponsive inside the home was identified as 48-year-old Janie Zapata.

Buda Fire Chief Clay Huckaby told the Hays Free Press that Zapata was rushed to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Beth Smith said this week that she has nothing new in the case including the results of an autopsy.

“I haven’t gotten any updates at all,” Smith said on June 15. “It’s still pending investigation as far as I know. No final autopsy yet.”

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