San Marcos apartment fire victim from SA remembered as 'wonderful, wonderful young man'

Dru Estes attended church at Strong Foundation Ministries

By Stephanie Serna - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - The search is over for more possible victims from Friday's fatal fire at two apartment complexes in San Marcos, officials said.

According to a news release from the city of San Marcos, search and recovery teams along with trained canines completed the search Tuesday of the remaining buildings at Iconic Village and Vintage Pads Apartments and no victims were found.

Five bodies were recovered from the rubble and were transported to the Travis County Medical Examiner's Office for positive identification, which could take more than a week. 

While the identification process takes place, some family and friends of the residents who are unaccounted for are coming to terms with the inevitable.

One of the missing residents is Dru Estes, who was remembered fondly Tuesday by his pastor.

"At first, we figured he's out with friends or out with his girlfriend," said the Rev. James A. Gipson Jr. of Strong Foundation Ministries. "And, then as time went on, we found out he wasn't at work, he wasn't with his girlfriend and we discovered that his car was in the parking lot of the apartment complex."

Gipson said he watched Estes grow up and into the type of person that saw the best in everyone. 

"He was the type of young man, when he walked into a room, his smile just lit up the room," Gipson said. "Everybody was always glad to see him. I actually watched Drew grow up from the time he was about 6 years old. Just a wonderful, wonderful young man. He loved the Lord, and we're confident that he's with the Lord.

Gipson said he believes during this difficult time that Estes would tell people to "look to the Lord." 

"If you can learn anything from this, we all need to be in a relationship with the Lord because we are not guaranteed tomorrow," Gipson said. "We don't know what tomorrow is going to bring, but if we know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we know where we are going to spend eternity." 

So far, no origin or cause of the fire has been identified and officials said the investigation could take months.

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