Residents fled as the flames spread from the original fire building, believed to be unoccupied, to the others.
Fire officials say after putting out the flames, the body of a man in in his 30s was found in a rear yard of the original fire building.
He was pronounced dead at the scene, and the medical examiner will determine his cause of death.
Firefighters are investigating the cause of the blaze, which is believed to be suspicious.
Eyewitness News is told eight firefighters sustained minor injuries battling the blaze. Debris in the fire building blocked them from quickly putting out the flames.
Neighbors said the fire building was unoccupied and frequently the site of illegal activity. They said they have been complaining about criminal activity in the building for at least two years.
The Buildings Department received several complaints about the building being vacant and open to criminals, including three last week alone.