The fire broke out on the third floor of the 'A' building at the Newporter Apartments around 8:30 p.m., fire officials said.
Everyone inside managed to escape safely and no one was hurt.
Sergio Chavez was on date night and got a frantic text from his babysitter.
"She called me and said, 'your apartment's on fire!' And I was like, we're leaving!" Chavez said.
Officials said the height of the fire made fighting it difficult.
"We have a large, non-sprinkled building," said Lt. Troy Donlin with Bellevue Fire. "It's a big fire challenge for us. We know there is a lot of fire in the attic space."
There weren't sprinklers but there were alarms and it helped Nicole Banse and her son Keegan escape.
"I just expected to come home and watch some TV and go to bed and instead I caught a fire," Banse said.
But Keegan needed a rescue -- not for him, but for his pet fish Jaws.
"He's a beta fish," Keegan said.
Nicole Banse went back inside to rescue the bowl.
"He's gonna cry over the fish and then I would feel bad," Nicole Banse said.
Officials originally said between 50-60 people were displaced by the fire, but Red Cross officials said many were able to return to their units later that night and that only 19 needed their assistance.
There is no word yet what sparked the fire.
Video courtesy: Darryl Singleton