Reward offered for info related to fatal San Marcos apartment fire

What’s left of the Iconic Village Apartments & Vintage Pads remains closed off by fencing. From the road, items can be seen that were left behind by those who once live at this San Marcos complex.

Its located a few blocks away from Texas State University.  

The site is a sad reminder for those who walk by, like Ryan Granell.

"Oh its crazy I park right here every day, we knew five people had lost their lives, to hear the news now is bad news, but it’s good to finally to get closure,” said Granell.     

The fire happened during the overnight hours of July 20th. It got into the attic area and swept through the complex. To escape; several residents jumped out of second story windows.

It took several days to identify the five who died.

Haley Michele Frizzell. 
David Ortiz.
Dru Estes. 
James Miranda.
Belinda Moats.

Friday during a morning news conference authorities confirmed what many have long feared: the fire was no accident. "The AFT is classifying this fire as incendiary that means it was intentionally set, that means this is a criminal investigation now,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Fred Milanowski.

The lead federal agent went on to say, “I can’t sit here today and tell you what the motive was for this exact fire." The classification was made after evidence collected by ATF agents was analyzed at a federal lab.

"A team of investigators were able to go up to our national fire research laboratory and create as close as possible the exact environment that happened at the Iconic Apartment fires,” said Milanowski.

The incendiary classification can include a fire being triggered by someone cooking drugs. It happens sometimes with the manufacturing of meth and marijuana extraction.

That scenario in this case, investigators say, was not likely. 

A $10-thousand reward is being offered for information that will lead to an arrest and conviction.

"I can't tell you whether it was one person or a group, Investigators here know where it was set and they know how it was set. and obviously either an individual or multiple individuals that were there, that set it, also know that information, and we are the only ones, the individuals and us know that so that’s why we are going to keep that information close to the vest in this investigation,” said Milanowski.  

It’s been known that there were no sprinkler systems in the apartments because when they were built the code did require them. But there's been a lingering questions about whether not the smoke detectors were operational. That came up during the news conference.

"What I will tell you through the investigation and reviewing all of the videos and footage that we had, the smoke alarms that were present we did hear the audible signals going off from those. As to when they went off and how many of them went off we cant give you the specifics on that,” said San Marcos Fire marshal Kelly Kistner.    

The site has been turned over to the property owner.

It's not known when the lots will be cleared off.