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Arson Ruled As Cause Of San Marcos Apartment Fire

Camille Phillips
Texas Public Radio
The massive fire started early Friday at Iconic Village Apartments, then spread to Vintage Pads Apartments nearby in San Marcos.

Federal investigators are offering a $10,000 reward for help in tracking down those responsible for setting fire to a San Marcos apartment complex in July, leaving five dead.

Special Agent In Charge Fred Milanowski, with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosive, said at a news conference in San Marcos on Friday that the agency did its best to recreate fire conditions at its national lab in Beltsville, Maryland.

Samples and witness interviews were collected over 10 days at the Iconic Village Apartments fire on July 20, he said.

"As a result of all that, we are here to announce that the ATF is classifying this fire as incendiary,” Milanowski said. “That means it was intentionally set.  That means this is a criminal investigation now."

The ATF would not release what was done to start the intentional fire or where it was started at the complex. It also did not share a motive.

Authorities identified those killed in the fire as Dru Estes, 20, of San Antonio; Belinda Moats, 21, of Big Wells; Haley Michele Frizzell, 19, of San Angelo; and David Angel Ortiz, 21, of Pasadena; and James Phillip Miranda, 23, of Mount Pleasant.

Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at brian@tpr.org