Bryan Fire Victims Identified; Suspect Faces New Charges

(KBTX-TV photo)
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BRYAN - Police have identified the two people found dead after a house fire in Bryan.

The report from the Travis County Medical Examiner's Office confirms what KBTX first reported Tuesday. The victims are 32-year-old Noel Devin of Bryan and her father, 63-year-old Thomas Mac Devin. Their burned remains were found after the fire Monday morning fire at Noel’s home on Vinewood Drive. One body was located in the front living room. The other was found in the right rear bedroom. The medical examiner has not released a cause of death.

Bryan 911 dispatch started to receive calls at 4:30 a.m. Monday about an explosion and fire at 2009 Vinewood. When firefighters arrived, the home was engulfed in flames.

After putting out the flames, investigators determined the house was owned by Noel Devin. Dispatch was unable to reach her cell phone. But they were able to contact Noel’s mother, Karla, at her home.

Karla Devin drove to her daughter’s home. She told police that her husband, Mac, had left their house about 5:30 Sunday evening to return Noel‘s dog. They had watched the dog that weekend while Noel was at Chilifest. Karla says she fell asleep and did not realize her husband did not come home.

Mac Devin’s pickup truck was parked in front of Noel’s house with her dog still inside. When police opened the driver’s door, they noticed “a very strong odor of bleach.” They also noticed a white substance, which appears to be bleach, had been “sprayed or poured all over the driver’s compartment.”

Karla said Noel’s SUV was missing from the garage where she normally parks it. The SUV was found about 5:50 p.m. Monday, parked outside Room #18 of the El Camino Hotel on Highway 21. The man staying in that room, Dennis Wayne Brown III, had just gotten out of prison on Friday.

Brown claims a guy named “Tear Drop” left the car with him. But the owner of the motel told police she saw Brown driving the car when he arrived.

Police found a jug of gasoline and a bottle of bleach in the SUV. They also found Noel’s clothing and jewelry in Brown’s room, along with a parking pass from the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament in Lincoln, Nebraska. Noel had made the trip to Lincoln with the Aggies who lost to the eventual national Champion UConn Huskies. Police also found more bleach and cigarette lighters.

Wednesday afternoon, Police announced additional charges against Brown – Arson and Burglary. Both are felonies. His bail was also increased from $150,000 to $1.15 million.

“This is a complex investigation with a significant quantity of forensic evidence that has to be processed and tested," said Police Chief Eric Buske. “As a result, it will take time before this investigation is concluded and all appropriate charges are levied.

We believe this to be an isolated incident and at this time, we are not actively seeking any additional suspects in this investigation.”

Noel Devin worked in the ticket office for the 12th Man Foundation. She graduated in 2004. Her father earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from A&M in 1989.

12th Man Foundation
The 12th Man Foundation released the following statement late Wednesday afternoon.

“The 12th Man Foundation and Texas A&M Athletics families are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our friend and colleague Noel Devin ’04 and her father, Thomas Mac Devin ’89. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Devin Family as they deal with this unfortunate tragedy.

Noel joined the 12th Man Foundation in 2006 and worked in various capacities in the ticket office. Her most recent position with the foundation was as the Associate Vice President of Resource Management.

Memorial Scholarships
In lieu of flowers, scholarship funds have been established for Noel and Mac. Checks should be made payable to the 12th Man Foundation and be sent to:

The Noel Devin ’04 Memorial Scholarship Fund
12th Man Foundation
P.O. Box 2800
College Station, TX 77841

Contributions can also be made in cash or by credit card. Please direct all inquiries or donations to Toni McDowell at 979-260-7577 or by email to

Gifts to the “The Thomas Mac Devin DVM '89 Scholarship” should be made payable to the Texas A&M Foundation and include a note on the memo line of the check referencing the name of the scholarship. Gifts can also be made by cash or credit card. They can be sent to:

The Thomas Mac Devin DVM '89 Scholarship
Dean’s Office, College of Veterinary Medicine
4461 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-4461

Contributions can also be made phone at 979-845-9043. Please direct all inquiries to Noell Vance in the Dean’s Office.

Coach Gary Blair
Women’s Basketball Coach Gary Blair released this statement:

“Noel (Devin) was family, and her love for Texas A&M and all of her teams made her beloved to our players, parents, coaches and fans that she loved to work with. Noel embodied service and loyalty like all Aggies, but she took it to another level.

Her time on earth was too short, but the lives she touched along the way made each of us better and more appreciative of the people that work with us.

The meaning of Noel is Christmas. In short “People with this name tend to initiate events, to be leaders rather than followers, with powerful personalities. They tend to be focused on specific goals, experience with a wealth of creative new ideas and the ability to implement these ideas with efficiency and determination. They tend to be courageous and sometimes aggressive as well as unique, creative individuals.”

Thank you Noel for making each of us better.”