The fire broke out on the 11th floor of the building on Casals Place in Co-Op City at around 2:50 a.m. Monday.
An 85-year-old man was rushed to Jacobi Medical Center where he later died. A 45-year-old woman suffered smoke inhalation and was rescued from the lobby of the building. Two firefighters also suffered minor injuries.
Heavy smoke was reported through the 33 story apartment building, which has 251 apartments.
"It was difficult to get up there with the wind. We used a suppression blanket to block the wind on the windows so the engine company could get in there and put the fire out. It was a pretty severe fire in the apartment," said Deputy Chief William McCormack, FDNY.
The FDNY went door to door to check on residents.
The Red Cross will assist any residents requiring assistance.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.