SAN MARCOS, Texas – Around the charred remains of an early-morning apartment complex fire, the San Marcos community has lent its support.
Multiple buildings at the Iconic Village and Vintage Pad apartment complexes were damaged by the blaze that began around 4:30 a.m. Friday.
Five people are still unaccounted for after the fire, which displaced about 200 residents and injuring seven people.
Though search and recovery of the scene is on hold until Sunday morning over concerns about hotspots and the stability of the wrecked buildings, the community support has had no such delays.
"The community's really coming together to help each other," said Jacob Blackmon, whose building at Vintage Pad Apartments was half-burned by the flames.
Friends offered Blackmon a place to stay, and the Red Cross supplied him with toiletries, necessities and some money for food.
Not all the help was official. A block away, a small group had set up an impromptu clothes collection and distribution station for the displaced residents.
Adrian Perez stood on the sidewalk holding a sign that read "Donations 4 Fire Victims."
"It's a really tight-knit community, and we all know each other and we all want to support the victims because they were our friends. They were our neighbors," he said.
Dozens of others gathered for a prayer vigil in the center of town Saturday night. They sang and prayed for the displaced, the injured and especially the unaccounted and those who love them.
"Whenever we come together in such short notice like this in an emergency setting, we try to all pull together and be organized together," said Pastor Jeffrey Latham of the Westover Baptist Church.
So no matter the difficulty they now face, the victims of the fire know they have a community on which to lean.
Officials released the names of the unaccounted for individuals Friday afternoon:
Those with information on their whereabouts are asked to contact the information hotline at 512-754-2291.