Father of San Marcos fire victim suing property

A lawsuit, filed Monday by the father of 23-year old James Miranda, alleges that the Iconic Village apartments, where he lived, did not have properly functioning sprinklers, and fire alarms failed to alert residents of the July 20 blaze.

“They didn't hear any alarms go off, which that scared me,” said Anna Hada, former Vintage Pads resident.

Phillip Miranda is asking for $1 million in damages, and claims the property owner was negligent. A portion of Vintage Pads was also burned, but student Anna Hada's unit was safe. She just signed a lease to move into Iconic Village. It’s a feeling that haunts her to this day.

“The building I was going to move into burned,” said Hada.

“A month later and she would’ve been in the building,” said Jim Hada, her father.

Her father says he feels for the families and can understand why a lawsuit was filed.

“The one thing about filing a lawsuit is, somebody's going to get answers,” said Hada.

Hada believes tenants have some responsibility, but given the demographic of tenants inside the complex, the property manager should take some accountability.

“All apartment complexes should be safe. But if you're catering to young residents, especially people who have been away from home, maybe for the first time, you should be extra vigilant on safety in these buildings,” said Hada.

Fire investigators finished their on-scene portion of the investigation. Five people were killed in the fire.

“We've identified four. There is one still unidentified pending DNA testing. We know the area of origin but we are not ready to release any of that,” said Les Stephens, San Marcos Fire Chief.

Investigators say they do know the fire started at the Iconic Village Apartments early that Friday morning. They are waiting on lab results to classify it.

“That cause can be accident, incendiary, it could be natural, it could even be left an undetermined,” said Stephens.

As the investigation continues, the Hadas are moving Anna into another complex. To this day, they don't want to think about what could've happened if she were inside the building that burned.

“The sprinkler systems didn't work perhaps and smoke detectors didn't work perhaps, these are all things as a parent, when we send our kids away and we hope that where we send them is safe,” said Hada.