It happened around 4 p.m. near the North Carolina Central University campus in the 400 block of Dupree Street.
When firefighters arrived there was only light smoke in the air until they broke through a door and smoke billowed out.
The victim was found in a second floor bedroom where smoking materials were found near the bed.
A neighbor tells ABC11 that the victim was a long-time resident, who lived in the house alone and could only get around using a walker.
The victim's name is not being released.
The deputy fire chief told ABC11 that the home had no working smoke detectors.