NEWPORT NEWS - Four people can't stay in their home because of an early morning fire caused by careless smoking, investigators say.

Newport News firefighters arrived on 24th Street around 2:45 a.m. and saw flames coming from the single-story house.

Rickey Hubbard says he tried to put out the fire on the bed, but before he knew it the whole bedroom was on fire. He said he and his father rushed to get everyone out of the house.

They did a quick search to make sure no one was inside and then got the fire under control in about 16 minutes.

The fire damaged a bedroom and caused smoke to fill the home, which is in the East End of the city.

The Red Cross is helping the residents.

Fire officials will install free smoke detectors for any Newport News homeowner. Call the 'Smoke Detector Hotline' at 926-8009 to make arrangements.

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