It happened just after 3 a.m. Tuesday on the 3600 block of North 21st Street.
Firefighters responded to the scene and found heavy fire showing on the first floor of an occupied three-story rowhome.
The fire spread to a neighboring home.
Assistant Fire Chief Richard Davison said ten people in total were evacuated from the homes; some were able to make out it on their own.
Police said two men and a woman jumped from a window of the burning building and suffered cuts and other injuries.
One of the men fell unconscious after the jump and is in critical condition, officials said.
The fire took the life of a woman, whose identity has not been released.
Firefighters found the victim on the first floor and she was pronounced dead on the scene.
Others were taken away on stretchers, including a pregnant woman who needed to be looked at for further evaluation.
A firefighter suffered minor injuries and was being treated at the hospital, Davison said.
Neighbor Brandon Russell said he knocked on doors to warn people about the fire.
"I looked out the window to see what was going on...smoke started coming up my steps. So I started knocking on all my neighbors' doors," Russell said. "I didn't know where exactly it was coming from, but now I see exactly where it was at, I'm just glad my kids weren't here at the time."
The fire was placed under control at 4:10 a.m.
Fire officials said two homes were damaged by the flames.
At least 10 people, including neighbors, were evacuated due to the smoke and kept warm by blankets given to them by the American Red Cross.
They were also provided access to a SEPTA bus if they needed it.
"We wanted to make sure we evacuate the ample amount of people to ensure they don't suffer smoke inhalation," Davison said.
Davison said some of those who were evacuated would be able to return to their homes.
"It's not only in the winter time that these things happen. We had a fire over here just this summer," said neighbor Lisa Statham.
Statham said she learned a lot about safety after experiencing a fire a few years ago.
The home where Tuesday's fire happened did not have a smoke alarm.
"If you don't have these things in your home: smoke detectors, fire alarm systems, carbon monoxide- get them. Call 311. They're free," Statham said.
Davison suggested that everyone place one smoke alarm on every level in every room and have an evacuation plan if a fire occurs.
The fire marshal is investigating a cause of the fire.