Three-Alarm Apartment Fire Ruled Arson, Suspect Arrested - 8 News NOW

Three-Alarm Apartment Fire Ruled Arson, Suspect Arrested

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Stephen Tyson Stephen Tyson

LAS VEGAS -- Nearly 100 people who were displaced by a fire last weekend are asking for justice. Investigators say a man set fire to an apartment after getting in an argument with a couple he was visiting.

Police arrested 50-year-old Stephen Tyson for arson and attempted murder Saturday for the fire at the Encantada Apartments.

A spokesperson for Las Vegas Fire says the couple closed the door to their bedroom and asked Tyson to leave. That's when investigators say Tyson set the fire. The couple was taken to University Medical Center with minor injuries.

The fire burned for more than an hour - causing $350,000 in damage and displacing nearly 100 people.

Mary Johnson watched from her building a few feet away as the flames jumped from unit to unit.

"I saw it spread from one building to the next. I said, ‘Oh no, it's going to catch everything,'" said Johnson.

She says if the blaze reached her apartment, she would have also been homeless.

"I don't have apartment insurance. I barely make it as it is just paying the rent. So yes, I would have been on the street with nowhere to go," she said.

The American Red Cross is helping apartment management provide the displaced people a temporary place to stay.

"They are in the Motel Six or whatever, but from my understanding, they're not going to be there that long," said neighbor Fabiola Joseph. "So what are they going to do after that? What happens if you don't have no family? I don't think it's fair."

Joseph said many escaped with only the clothes on their backs.

"This gentleman over here was a security guy, and when the firefighter people came and grabbed him out the house, he only had his uniform," said Joseph. "That's what he's been wearing."

The people who watched the smoke rise above their homes want justice. "So, you got him. Don't let him out," said Johnson. "He's an arsonist. Keep him."

Stephen Tyson was already in jail for unrelated charges. A week after the fire, the Clark County Detention Center notified investigators he was in custody.

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