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Suspect denies involvement in massive apt. complex fire

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Updated: 5/01 9:05 am
LAS VEGAS (John Treanor, KSNV -- Police say a fire that left 70 people homeless was actually one man’s attempt at murder.

Eight days after a massive blaze at the Encantada Apartments in the 400 block of North 28th Street, near Eastern and U.S. 95, police say they believe they have the man responsible.

Suspect Stephen Tyson spoke in an interview exclusive with News 3 at the Clark County Detention Center.

Police say they saw Tyson on security footage leaving the apartment complex right after that fire was set. But he was already in police custody when they went to arrest him, picked up after trying to rob a nearby Walmart just two days later

According to the arrest report, Tyson’s roommate told him to leave, and he did -- but not before he allegedly set the apartment on fire. The roommate and a girl who were trapped inside jumped from the window to survive.

While police think they have their man and people here are satisfied, Tyson says he did nothing.

“I have nothing to do with that,” Tyson said in an interview at the Clark County Detention Center. “I have no knowledge of that at all whatsoever.”

In the 10-minute interview, Tyson repeatedly denied anything.

He did say he was in the apartment and admitted there was an argument and even said he left on what he believed was early Sunday morning, the same time the fire was set, but he says he didn’t set it.

“OK, yes, I left the place on Sunday morning, but i don’t know what happened,” Tyson said. “I don’t know what happened.”

And if he wanted to hurt anyone inside, Tyson says he would have.

“That’s not what I do; that’s not my makeup,” Tyson said. “People will tell you if I was angry, if I wanted to do something, I would’ve put my hands on them.”

Tyson said that he hasn't been charged yet; court documents prove otherwise. He is now in the Detention Center on charges of arson and attempted murder

Tyson asked that the interview be stopped after about 10 minutes.

While he waits for his next court date, Encantada Apartments residents also will have to wait. There is no update for them on when they can come back here and get their things. Officials say the building is still too dangerous.


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