10:15 a.m. UPDATE: 27-year-old Lawrence Joseph Barnes is charged with arson at a boarding house. The investigation continues and further charges may be forthcoming, police told

Donte Gary said Barnes was about to be evicted and had complained the rent was too high.
Derek Boone says Barnes had been a tenant for two years and wanted to leave because he was being bullied.

NEWPORT NEWS -- A 26-year-old man is facing charges after he admitted setting fire that injured two people in Newport News early Wednesday, police tell

Five people were home when crews arrived on 36th Street just after 4 a.m.; two of them were taken to the hospital for treatment of burns and smoke inhalation, said Battalion Chief Jack Carper.

One of the people in the home said he was sleeping when he was woken up and told to get out. He said they jumped out one of the windows on the second floor.

The man who was taken by police has admitted setting the fire, officials said.

One firefighter has been treated for exhaustion but has returned to duty, Carper noted.

The Red Cross is helping the residents with food, lodging and clothing since the house will be condemned.

Investigators will work to determine what was going on at the home just before the fire started.

Read or Share this story: