SAN MARCOS, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - This week, demolition crews began tearing down the Iconic Village Apartment building where five people were killed last July. Flames tore through multiple apartments in San Marcos in what authorities said was an intentionally-set fire.
Six months later, there is still no known suspect.
The five victims were between the ages of 19 and 23. Their deaths were reclassified as homicides a few weeks ago, after the ATF determined the cause of the fire.
“My dogs started going crazy and then I came out, and the flames were coming out pretty high. And they were already there trying to put it out, but, 3-4 hours later, it was still burning, so it was a pretty high fire,” said Matt Myze who lives in an apartment across the street from Iconic Village.
“It was just really just heartbreaking to come to town and see what had happened,” said Caprica Neal who also lives across the street but was not home the night of the fire.
Neighbors said although they will never forget what happened, it's time to move forward. “I'd say, I guess it's a positive thing. Move on and get that taken care of. It's going to be quite the process, I'm sure,” Myze said.
Demolition crews have been working to clear out pieces of the broken, charred building left behind by the flames. “It is a good thing in the sense that people can have that sense of closure,” said Neal.
The thought that the person responsible has yet to be arrested, is anything but comforting.
“That is very terrifying actually,” Neal said.
“It's just sad, to tell you the truth, that somebody would do that, and I don't understand how that somebody can actually live with themselves,” said Myze.
Now, as the walls of this building are torn down, people nearby vow to help those left scarred by the fire stand strong. “I just think that it's a time for our community to come together, and we've really shown that we have come together. You can't go back in time and change what happened, but it means a lot that San Marcos is such a strong community,” Neal said.
Although the ATF knows the cause of the fire, that is not being released to protect the integrity of the investigation. There is a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the identification and arrest of the person responsible. Tips can be called in to 1-800-ATF-TIPS.