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July 24, 2014

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Man charged with arson, attempted murder in apartment fire

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Steve Marcus

An third-story apartment is shown at the site of a three-alarm apartment fire at 28th Street and Cedar Avenue Sunday, June 16, 2013. Two people suffered minor injuries, Las Vegas Fire & Rescue spokesman Tim Szymanski said.

Three-Alarm Apartment Fire

Firefighters pull hose after putting out a three-alarm apartment fire at 28th Street and Cedar Avenue Sunday, June 16, 2013. Two people suffered minor injuries, Las Vegas Fire & Rescue spokesman Tim Szymanski said. Launch slideshow »

A man was charged Saturday with arson and attempted murder in connection with an apartment fire that displaced nearly 100 people and caused $350,000 in damage.

Stephen Tyson, 50, of Las Vegas, was charged with one count of arson in the first degree and two counts of attempted murder in the June 16 fire at Encantada apartments on N. 28th Street, near Eastern Avenue and U.S. 95. Las Vegas Fire and Rescue spokesman Tim Szymanski said it was the biggest fire of the year.

Fire investigators allege that Tyson set the fire in a second-story apartment while the occupants were in the bedroom, Szymanski said. The flames quickly spread and filled the home with smoke.

The occupants opened their door to find the apartment filled with fire and their front door blocked. They jumped from a bedroom window to escape, Szymanski said.

The fire then spread to an electric conduit and the attic above the apartment complex, Szymanski said. About 50 people evacuated while firefighters from Clark County and North Las Vegas assisted Las Vegas Fire and Rescue in extinguishing the fire.

The fire took 90 minutes to douse, Szymanski said.

Fire investigators had been searching for Tyson since the incident and were notified Friday that he was taken to the Clark County Detention Center on unrelated charges, Szymanski said.

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