Burglars broke into a house in Oxfordshire and set it on fire.
Police said the family who live at the house in the Byeway in Grimsbury, Banbury, had gone out on Saturday afternoon when the break-in happened.
Their relative noticed the blinds in the lounge moving and contacted the family, who returned home.
They found that a bedroom had been searched and three separate fires had been set, two in the kitchen and one in the lounge.
Thames Valley Police said the thieves may have been after valuables they thought were kept in the home. It is not yet known if anything was stolen.
Det Insp Steve Duffy said: "There were a small number of burglaries in the later part of 2010, targeting families who kept what is known within the [Asian] community as wedding gold in their home.
"Setting fire to homes is rarely random and tends to have a motive based on some perceived grudge no matter how unreasonable that may be.
"I am pleased that in this latest incident crime prevention advice had been listened to and items of value were deposited at a bank and no-one was injured as a result of this reckless act.
"I urge the local community to remain calm and vigilant."