Police initially were dispatched to the Candlewood Apartments in the 8500 block of 10th Avenue West at about 2:45 a.m. after a neighbor heard the sound of breaking glass and called 911 to report possible malicious activity, said Aaron Snell of the Everett police.
Officers arriving at the apartment complex saw flames and smoke coming from one building and immediately called in Everett fire crews.
The building was evacuated and firefighters extinguished the blaze. There was extensive damage to the building.
A body was discovered inside one ground-floor apartment. Information on the gender or age of the fatality has not been established, Snell said, but neighbors told KOMO News a man and his son lived in the apartment and the father apparently has died.
One woman says she heard a fire alarm sometime after 2 a.m. She looked out her window and saw a man break the window of the ground floor apartment. Immediately flames shot up and caught the balcony above on fire.
Another neighbor, Sterling Whipple, said he heard an explosion.
"The explosion sounded like a gunshot," Whipple said. "The flames shot up from the first floor to the third-floor building. It caught a tree on fire. It was huge. I thought the whole building was going to go up."
The fire is under investigation, and detectives are working to establish the cause.
"We're investigating as if it is an intentionally set fire," Snell said.
Two people were transported to Providence Medical Center Everett for minor non-life threatening injuries.
Dozens of residents were displaced and will not be able to return until the building has been assessed for safety. This process may take several hours and the American Red Cross is providing support to those displaced, Snell said.