Neighbors, who woke up to sirens shortly before 2 a.m. Monday, could only watch in disbelief as they saw what was happening just a few doors down.
Fire investigators said it was a mother, Pauline Naylor, 44, and her son William Burnapp III, 11, who were pronounced dead at the scene.
They were both found in the front bedroom of the house shortly after firefighters arrived.
It took 40 firefighters about 30 minutes to put the fire out. There was no one else inside the home at the time of the fire, and there were no other injuries.
Pete and Pam Ernst live nearby and went to the 100 block of Benfield Road to see the damage for themselves.
"Fortunately this doesn't happen too often but it's still pretty gripping. I remember when that mansion burned down and killed all those people. It was pretty sad, very sad," Pete Ernst said.
He called it a reminder for him and his wife to make sure their smoke alarms are working at all times.
It is unclear right now if there were any working smoke alarms inside the home, but firefighters did not report hearing them go off when they got on scene.
At Severna Park Middle School, where William had just started the 6th grade, on site school counselors and psychologists are available to students and staff members.
"It's a difficult day here. We try to help students and staff members through their grief even though student had only been here a short amount of time. It's very difficult," Bob Mosier, spokesman for Anne Arundel County Public School, said.
Mosier said if school leaders determine they need more help, they have a trauma team they can also bring in.
Damages are estimated at around $250,000 and the cause of the fire is under investigation.
From a previous story:
Anne Arundel County Fire Officials are investigating after an overnight fire left two people dead.
Officials were dispatched at 1:45 a.m. Monday to the 100 block of Benfield Road for a heavy fire. Upon arrival and search of the home firefighters located two occupants deceased. The fire was brought under control a short time later.
Officials have not released any ID of the occupants at this time. Officials will continue to investigate.