Arsonist sought in 2018 San Marcos fire that killed 5, $10,000 reward offered

Fire set intentionally, deaths were ruled as homicides

SAN MARCOS, Texas – One year after the deadly fire at the Iconic Village Apartments in San Marcos, authorities are still searching for the person responsible.

“The investigation is ongoing and continues to be actively worked,” Fire Marshal Kelly Kistner said. “We frequently receive new leads and information, all of which are followed up on until exhausted. Although no specific suspect has been identified, the investigative team is confident the case can and will be solved.”

San Marcos Fire Department and the Houston Field Division of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced on Nov. 30, 2018, that the fire was started intentionally.

The blaze, which started in the early morning hours of July 20, 2018, killed five people and injured seven others.

Dru Estes, 20, of San Antonio; Haley Frizzell, 19, of San Angelo; David Ortiz, 21, of Pasadena; James Miranda, 23, of Mount Pleasant; and Belina Moats, 21, of Big Wells, died as a result of the fire.

Zachary Sutterfield, 21, of San Angelo, was one of the seven injured and continues to make progress in his recovery at San Antonio Military Medical Center, according to a news release.

“We can never replace the young lives lost in this tragedy or alleviate the life-changing struggle that Zach has faced since that day, but we can continue to work diligently to solve this crime and appeal to the public for assistance in achieving this goal,” Fire Chief Les Stephens said.

ATF is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the person or people responsible for the crime.

Four of the five victims killed in the fire were students or former students at Texas State University. Officials said about 200 people were displaced as a result of the fire.

Anyone with information is asked to contact ATF at 1-800-ATF-TIPS or by email at

Tips can also be submitted anonymously via the ReportIt app.

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.