The fire started on the third floor of the Keystone Apartments at 32 South Wycombe Avenue just after 5:00 a.m. Saturday morning.
"It was about 5:00 a.m. and I heard the police knocking and banging on everyone's door saying the building was on fire and to get out now," said Oasha Waller, resident.
According to the medical examiner, 51-year-old Margaret Mcclernan died in the blaze.
McClernan, who was affectionately called 'Miss Margie' by her neighbors, lived on the third floor.
Arriving crews reported heavy smoke and fire coming from that part of the building.
As smoke and fire alarms sounded, almost all the building residents escaped."The fire pretty much stayed in that apartment, it did make it up to the cockloft and roof," said Chief Wayne Worley, Lansdowne Fire Department.
While crews fought the flames for about 50 minutes, many people stood on the sidewalk watching and waiting.
Nearly 30 residents are now homeless and seeking assistance from the Red Cross.
"They're supplying meals and setting up for long term residency because the building won't be able to be used for some length of time," said Chief Worley.
The Red Cross has set up a shelter at the Twentieth Century Club on South Lansdowne Avenue.
Police say one firefighter suffered a hand injury battling the blaze. He was treated and released at an area hospital.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.