SAN MARCOS, Texas – Four bodies have been recovered after a massive fire at an apartment building in San Marcos, officials said Monday.
San Marcos Fire Marshal Kelly Kistner said investigators are still trying to determine where and how the fire at the Iconic Village Apartments started about 4:30 a.m. Friday.
Investigators said there were no sprinklers in the building, which was built in 1970 because they were not required at the time. The building has also not undergone any major renovations which would require sprinklers to be installed, investigators said. It was not immediately clear if the building had any working smoke detectors, investigators said.
Kistner said the medical examiner is working to identify the four victims, and investigators are still trying to determine exactly how many people may have been killed in the fire.
"Search and recovery efforts continue," Kistner said. "Officials continue to search for any other victims. Four victims have been recovered. We continue to work that operation until we know that all victims have been recovered."
Officials said Sunday that five people were unaccounted for after the fire, and identified them as: James Miranda, Haley Frizzell, Belinda Moats, David Ortiz and Dru Estes. Anyone with information about the whereabouts of those who are missing are asked to call 512-754-2291.
Firefighters said a total of 200 people have been affected by the fire and 110 units were damaged.
Texas State University officials said they are working to help students affected by the fire, and has set up a page on its website to provide information at safety.txstate.edu.
Officials said a resource center for those affected by the fire will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Ortiz has Houston-area ties
Ortiz was identified by a family friend that he was a former student at Pasadena Memorial high School. His mother is a Spanish teacher at the school, according to the family friend.
"We're praying a lot. I was at mass this morning praying, praying for strength, praying for them, praying for the family because that's just got to be a nightmare I don't ever want to know about and I don't want to ever experience. I just can't imagine," she said.
A GoFundMe account has been made to help Ortiz's mother.
Eubank said she’s relying on faith, Ortiz will be found okay.
“You never know," she said. "I so hope he was floating the river with friends or something, but I’m just not sure.”