New details emerge as authorities conclude on-scene investigation of deadly San Marcos fire

Apartments last inspected by fire marshal in 2014, had smoke alarms installed

By Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist

Authorities concluded the on-scene portion of their investigation into the deadly San Marcos apartment fires on Tuesday, revealing that the apartments were all outfitted with battery-operated fire alarms and had undergone inspection by the Hays County Fire Marshal's Office in 2014.

The massive July 20 fire at the Iconic Village apartment complex claimed the lives of five people and injured at least seven others. 

Local and federal agencies have remained on scene since the fire, investigating what caused the fire to start and what made it spread so quickly.

Through more than 100 interviews and an on-scene investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms' National Response Team determined the origin of the fire. Officials, however, are waiting on laboratory tests and an analysis before announcing the final classification of the fire.

“The City expresses our gratitude to the multitude of agencies and municipalities who assisted in the fire response and particularly to the ATF for their efforts and expertise displayed throughout the investigation,” said City Manager Bert Lumbreras. “In addition to the tireless efforts of Fire Chief Les Stephens and our emergency personnel, I want to commend Fire Marshal Kelly Kistner for demonstrating the aptitude and investigative knowledge that led us to make him part of the City team this past May.”

Local officials will release the apartment property to its owners on Tuesday.

An investigation revealed that each apartment was outfitted with smoke alarms, compliant with Texas property codes, and that inspection of the smoke alarms had recently been completed prior to the fire.

City records also show that a property and fire inspection was last completed at Iconic Village and Village Pads on May 6, 2014, by fire marshal personnel.

A release said that prior to the 2014 inspection, a Certificate of Occupancy inspection was conducted on Nov. 24, 2009, as part of a change of ownership of the apartment property.

Those with information pertaining to the fire or the investigation are asked to call the San Marcos Fire Marshal’s Office at 512-805-2600.

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