The landlord and his brother first saw smoke coming from the apartment and tried to save the elderly woman inside.
"I told him, go save the lady. He went in there and he overcame from the smoke, and he fell down he barely made it out. And then when I came I tried to get it, when I went in it was just terrible, I couldn't see nothing," said landlord Dick Matewosian.
The victim is identified as Brunette Cuccaresse. She was 86 years old.
Neighbors say she was not able to get around very well and was a heavy smoker.