DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va (WRIC) – A 10-year-old boy is recovering from smoke inhalation after his home in Dinwiddie caught fire while he was there alone on Monday.

A couple living across the street happened to be home, called 911 and helped clean soot off of the boy.

The 10-year-old boy was inside his home sleeping Monday when the home went up in flames. The family’s dogs died in the flames after jumping on the boy to save his life.

Ray Dawson and his wife used to live in that same home for 12 years before moving just across the street.

For the last two years, a new family with a 10-year-old boy, has been living there.

“He’s a smart fella for 10 years old,” said Dawson.

For Dawson, the little boy is a friend.

“He’d miss the bus every now and then and he’d come over here and see if I would carry him to school,” Dawson told 8News.

But Monday, Dawson and his wife woke up to a loud knock.

“The little boy woke us up about, I don’t know, 6, beating on the door,” he said.

On the other side stood the boy, covered in soot, with an heart-wrenching message.

“We got to the door and he said my house is on fire,” Dawson said. The place that the boy had called home for two years was in flames.

“I could see fire through the window,” Dawson told 8News.

Dawson called 911 and went to see if there was anything he could do.

But, holding back tears, Dawson says the home where he, and now the boy’s family, had so many memories, was gone.

“It felt like it was my place burning,” he said.

Not knowing what will happen with the home, Dawson hopes the little boy is healing.

“I hope he’s doing okay,” Dawson said as tears rolled down his cheek.

Early Monday afternoon, the 10-year-old boy’s family tells 8News he was released from the hospital.