Fire crews responded to the home in the 200 block of Idlewild Avenue around 6:45 p.m. When they arrived, heavy smoke was pouring from the home.
"We have no idea what happened," said fire victim Harold Williams. "All we know is the fire started right there in that front window."
Williams was limping after jumping from the porch to narrowly escaped an inferno. He was outside when it ignited, but he dashed back inside to douse the fast-moving flames.
"I ran in the house to try to get some water because it was smoldering at the time," said Williams. "That trash can was going to be my bucket, but the flames just ran me out. I had to jump off the porch that's why I'm limping."
In all, five people lived inside the rooming house. Two jumped out of a front window. One person was treated on scene after injuring himself from the fall. However, no one suffered any burns.
"I said, 'Yeah! A fire!' We saw a fire," said house manager Joyce Montague.
Montague also ran inside when she saw smoldering curtains.
"I ran upstairs trying to get everybody out of there I screamed. I said, 'Y'all get out, get out,'" said Montague. "At the time, I had to come on back out you know because it got worse."
"When we arrived, the complete bottom floor was on fire with the fire extension to the second floor," said Raleigh Fire Battalion Chief John Fanning.
It took firefighters about 45 minutes to bring the blaze under control.
The cause of the fire has been ruled an accident.
The Red Cross is helping those displaced by the fire.