26-year-old Ramir Harold was embraced by friends and family outside of his burned home on North 7th Street near Gibbon Street in Salem.
His mother, identified by family members as Tasha Roots, died in the blaze that started early Saturday morning.
Harold says he was staying with a family member when the fire started.
He remembers his mom as an independent woman who taught him and his brother to work hard.
"I'm just trying to stay strong," said Harold. "My mom would want that. She was a strong woman."
Roots' older brother, Kevin Crews, Sr., is a 30-year firefighter with the City of Wilmington. He came to the scene as soon as he heard the news.
"It's always been your greatest fear as a firefighter," said Crews, "to pull up and have a family member... because I know what the fire will do."
Investigators with the New Jersey State Fire Marshal's office spent hours Saturday going through the home looking for the cause.
Meanwhile relatives gathered to comfort one another, remembering a woman who always put her two sons first.
"Whatever it takes to get the job done for family, she was always there," said Crews.
Tasha's son Ramir will be staying with family. Her younger son is 18 and just started his freshman year of college in North Carolina last weekend.
He's now back to mourn with family.