The fire started sometime after 7:30 p.m. in a second story apartment near the corner of 12th Avenue Northwest and Northwest 85th Street, according to Kyle Moore of the Seattle Fire Department.
When fire crews arrived on scene, they found an adult man dead on a hide-a-bed inside the apartment. Firefighters were able to knock down the fire before it spread to any of the other 32 units in the complex.
Crews are checking the building for fire, smoke or water damage, but Moore said he expects tenants to be back inside sometime Tuesday night.
After the fire was out, neighbors were quick recognize Harry Nettleton -- a complete stranger -- for his actions.
Nettleton and his dad were driving in the area when they saw the flames and smoke pouring out of the complex.
"I parked over here and ran across the street and up the doors and up the stairs," Nettleton said.
Once inside the smoke-filled building, Nettleton pulled the emergency device before alerting others in the complex to get out.
"They were just in a panic and crying and just said, 'Thank you,' and I walked them down here to the street and about that time I could hear sirens in the distance," he said.