The fire started early Saturday morning in the 1700 block of Queens Street.
Captain Albert Alston said the resident was heating grease and fell asleep on the couch. The grease then ignited causing smoke alarms to go off in an adjacent apartment.
Those nearby neighbors called 911.
Alston said there was heavy, dark smoke when crews arrived. There is smoke damage throughout the residence, as well as damage to the kitchen, living room, and a second floor bedroom.
Officials said the resident was taken to Wilson Medical Center and pronounced dead. No other injuries were reported, and no one else was inside the apartment where the fire started.
The victim's identity has not been released.