Richard Sherman, 53, succombed to injuries in a regional burn unit after a fire left him with critical burns on Wednesday afternoon.
The fire occurred in the area known as The Jungle, a homeless encampment in Ithaca.
Mayor Svante Myrick said the incident bears witness to the importance of keeping the area clear to ensure accessibility during emergencies.
"We cannot service those who live there with addiction services, mental health services, or police and fire protecting. I will do everything in my power to steer any current inhabitants to healthier, existing alternatives," Myrick said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.