Witnesses told police the man was trying to extract hash oil from marijuana before the fire started.
Four units were damaged before crews knocked down the flames.
One resident said he saw a fireball, and then heard an explosion before running outside to put out another fire, caused by the first one.
"I literally sprinted to the top level with another guy, and when we got there, there was a female and a male, they already had gone in and they took the fire extinguishers, and they put the fire out on the terrace, and I went right to make sure things were doing OK," said Dave Simon, a resident in the apartment complex.
The resident said he saw drugs and firearms inside the apartment that caught fire. Fortunately, no one was hurt.