This all began to escalate at about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, after the guest couldn't find his necklace.
He accused his friend of stealing it, and said he'd burn the place down if he didn't return it.
Siha Phoudamneun has been identified as the guest, and arson suspect.
Residents say he became upset with the man who offered him shelter for the night, after he noticed his necklace was missing in the morning.
Firefighters say the two men are friends, but the suspect is accused of beating up his "friend."
Koby Johns, Fresno Fire Dept.: "That friend got upset with the man. They got into an altercation and he said he was going to burn his apartment down. He actually carried out what he said he was going to do. He lit a piece of newspaper on fire and lit a blanket on fire."
This is the victim's son-in-law, La Phankhamsao.
He says his father-in-law went out to collect cans like he does every morning.
But when he came back, he was confronted by the suspect, who accused him of stealing the necklace.
And now, he's lost everything.
"He ran out of the house with no shoes on. He tried to put the fire out himself. He could hardly walk. How's he going to put out a fire?"
Two apartments were severely damaged during the fire.
10 adults and 7 kids are without a home, but Red Cross is helping with shelter.
Residents and firefighters say it doesn't make sense...
Don McAlpine, Deputy Fire Marshall: "Basically, a good citizen just opening up his home to help someone in need."
It was just a necklace.
La Phankhamsao, Victim's Son in Law: "I don't know, it's sad man. It's just stupid."
This is the suspect, Siha Phoudamneun.
He is 59 years old, stands 5-4, and weighs about 150 lbs.
Residents of the apartment complex say he is fairly well known in the hmong community.
Firefighters and police are still looking for the suspected arsonist.
If you have any information, you are urged to call the Fresno Fire Department at 621-4443.
This was the third fire during the morning shift for Fresno firefighters.
At 4:00 a.m., crews put out a commercial blaze near Fresno and Belmont at Lewis Market.
Then, at 6:00 a.m., firefighters put out an electrical fire at a home near Clinton and Blythe.
No major injuries were reported in any of the morning incidents.