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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Former TXST student arrested in Iconic Village fire investigation

Jonathan+Henderson%2C+San+Marcos+Fire+Department+fire+marshal%2C+addresses+media+and+victims+family+members+of+the+Iconic+Village+fire%2C+Thursday%2C+July+6%2C+2023%2C+at+San+Marcos+Fire+Station+5.

Jonathan Henderson, San Marcos Fire Department fire marshal, addresses media and victims’ family members of the Iconic Village fire, Thursday, July 6, 2023, at San Marcos Fire Station 5.

Thirty-year-old Jacobe Ferguson, former Texas State undergraduate student, has been arrested and charged with arson causing bodily injury and death in connection to the Iconic Village apartments fire.
It’s been nearly five years since the fire that killed five; Haley Frizzell, 19, Dru Estes, 20, David Angel Ortiz, 21, Belinda Moats, 21, and James Phillip Miranda, 23, and injured multiple others.
Four of the deceased were Texas State students.
“Over the past five years, witnesses were interviewed, evidence was examined and laboratory experiments were conducted to determine the origin and cause of the fire,” Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Houston Field Division Robert Topper said. “Following exhaustive scientific research at the ATF Fire Research Laboratory, all potential accidental causes for the fire were ruled out and the fire was ruled an arson by [the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] certified fire investigators.”
Among the many interviewed during the initial 10-day investigation was Ferguson, who according to San Marcos Fire Department Fire Marshall Jonathan Henderson, did not stand out in comparison to others.
“[We] really just went back to the beginning of the case. We started to re-examine everything that was documented, mostly in the report of the fire research laboratory, which obviously wasn’t available at the time during the investigations wherever the initial interviews took place, obviously close to the time of the event,” Henderson said. “I really do think that bringing in Texas Rangers as well as the rest of the team in the very beginning, until a new fresh set of eyes were able to determine different questions, more questions that lead to new information of beings.”
Multiple witnesses were reinterviewed which led to valuable information that was further corroborated by ATF.
“These new interviews led to the task force obtaining an arrest warrant for decoding a person for arson causing serious bodily injury or death and felony of the first degree. This arrest warrant was served by U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force yesterday morning at approximately 6:45 a.m. Ferguson was placed under arrest without incident and was booked at the Hays County Jail,” Henderson said.
According to Henderson, no other arrests are anticipated to be made. The investigation remains open as the task force continues its work in the Hays County District Attorney’s office.
Family members of the victims were in attendance, including Brian Frizzell, the father of the deceased Haley.
“Driving around Hays County, Travis County, Comal County, going to every emergency room and going into every hospital begging for Jane Doe to be your daughter is an absolutely horrendous experience,” Brian said. “I can’t imagine what everybody else is going through but I would never wish that on any parent or anybody for any reason in the world. Nobody deserves that and five young people who died and the people who were injured on that day certainly didn’t deserve to have their lives changed forever.”

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