SAN MARCOS, Texas – The body count for the San Marcos apartment fire is up to five. More than 200 people are left without a home.
In a press conference on Monday, investigators updated the number of people found dead after the fire at the Iconic Village apartments and Vintage Pads apartments on July 20.
About 5:30 p.m. Monday, the City of San Marcos updated the number of bodies to five. The bodies have been sent to the Travis County Medical Examiner's office for identificatin. Positive identification could take more than a week, officials said.
Fire Marshal Kelly Kistner said the apartment buildings were constructed in 1970 and were not required to have sprinklers. Over the past 50 years the buildings have not been remolded and sprinklers were never added.
“The buildings codes are what they are, when those structures are built,” said San Marcos Fire Chief Les Stephens. “We don’t have the ability to go back and require them to retrofit existing structures that met the code at the time they were constructed.”
A resource center will be established by the city for the 200 displaced residents on Tuesday, July 24 and Wednesday, July 25. The center will provide information on assistance programs for residents from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Residents have been asked to remove any remaining cars parked near the buildings so investigators could access the site.
"I had my lifelong record collection and stuff I’ve had since I was a kid. I know it’s just things and I know I’m really lucky," said Branson Fairbrother, Iconic Village resident.
“As a community our hearts are broken,” said San Marcos Mayor John Thomaides. “We’ve lost so much, we’ve lost the love, energy, optimism and potential of these young souls.”
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms National Response Team, a resource available to local agencies dealing with fires of this magnitude, is leading the fire investigation in conjunction with the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the City of San Marcos Fire Marshal.
Those who want to help the residents and families of the victims affected by the fire can donate here; add "Iconic" to the comments section.