Police say 84-year-old Ardith Marie Parra died in the blaze.
Firefighters say they had trouble getting into the home on Cherry Street because there was an unusual amount of stuff inside.
"In those conditions, it's difficult for firefighters to make entry, to move through the house. There's already with heavy smoke and fire, visibility is zero. So, the firefighters are basically going in, using their hands, their tools, reaching through to try and find someone," said Fire Chief Bill Tyler.
He said it also made it difficult to get the fire out.
"Because of all the fuel loading inside, it's very difficult to extinguish all of the fires. They've got to pull a lot of the material out. The attic was plywood with full storage in the attic as well. So, they have to get the fire out first before we can complete the investigation," he said.
They got the call around 10:30 last night.
One neighbor said she never saw any activity in or around the home.
"It's always dark. It's dark, never saw anybody go in and out. Just about everybody you see somebody walking around. But, I'm really sorry that it happened," said Noni Ritter.
The fire chief says the woman lived alone and was the only one inside the home during the fire. They do not know the cause of the fire.
A Novato woman in her 80’s died in this house when it caught fire last night. Firefighters are still on the scene watching for flare ups. They say there was so much stuff inside the home it made it tough for them to get in and look for her. pic.twitter.com/4FHQTO3ZgZ— Amy Hollyfield (@amyhollyfield) December 5, 2019