BREAKING UPDATE: San Marcos Fire Department, ATF Release New Information About Iconic Village Apartment Fire

BREAKING UPDATE: San Marcos Fire Department, ATF Release New Information About Iconic Village Apartment Fire

The ATF National Response Team (NRT) was deployed to help with the investigation; NRT is a team of experts from chemists and engineers to certified explosive specialists to canines and forensic mappers, who has helped process and investigate more than 800 major fire and explosive scenes.

By, Terra Rivers, Managing Editor

UPDATE: According to a report by the San Antonio Express-News, the deaths of the five victims of the fire that destroyed two buildings at the Iconic Village Apartment Complex have been ruled homicides.

The San Marcos Fire Department and the Houston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) hosted a news conference this morning to release new details about the Iconic Village Apartment Fire.

Four months after the fire claimed the lives of five residents, the San Marcos Fire Department and ATF have announced that the fire has been classified as an incendiary fire.

According to Fred Milanowski, the ATF Agent in charge, an incendiary classification means the fire was an “intentional human act.” Investigators are now looking at the case as a criminal investigation. 

Officials are asking for the public’s help and any information, which may help them identify a suspect. Currently, investigators do not have any suspects or a motive.

ATF is offering a reward of $10,000 for any information that may help lead officials to the individual(s) responsible for the fire.

The ATF National Response Team (NRT) was deployed to help with the investigation; NRT is a team of experts from chemists and engineers to certified explosive specialists to canines and forensic mappers, who has helped process and investigate more than 800 major fire and explosive scenes.

“That team is the best in the country,” Milanowski said. “The National Response Team concept has been around for 40 years. They were the same team that was deployed to Austin during the Austin bombing.”

Samples from the scene of the fire went to the National Laboratory, and a team of investigators was able to recreate the environment at Iconic Village at the time of the fire.

Officials said they would not be releasing any information on how the fire was started or where it started as the investigation is ongoing.

At least 200 residents were displaced after the fire at the complex destroyed one building and damaged a second. Firefighters responded to the 911 call around 4:27 AM to find many residents already evacuating the first and second-floor apartments of buildings 500 and 300.

Firefighters from agencies around the county and Austin spent over 12 hours fighting the flames until the fire was reported to have been detained around 6:30 PM.

Investigators recovered the bodies of five victims: James Miranda, Haley Frizzell, Belinda Moats, David Ortiz and Dru Estes.

Several lawsuits were filed against the property manager, the property management company and the complex owners.


 

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