A village house fire has been confirmed as arson by firefighters.
An investigation was launched following the blaze in the early hours of Wednesday morning at Easington Village.
Luckily, the man who had been in the property on The Green at the time had escaped from the flames.
A spokesman for County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service said the fire was investigated and found to have been started deliberately.
Two crews from Peterlee, another from Seaham and two officers were sent to the incident at the bottom of Clappersgate at around 2.20am.
A man who had been inside the house had managed to get out by the time the emergency services arrived.
Two teams of two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were sent in to the detached house to tackle the fire using hose reels and used fans to clear the property of smoke.
They remained on the scene until 3am and the house was sealed off by police. The fire was thought to have began on the ground floor before spreading to the first floor.
A spokesman for the fire service, said crews had been out and about in Easington Village handing out leaflets with the Firestoppers number on and encouraging anyone with any information to make contact .
He said: "The investigation found that the fire was started deliberately.
"Like Crimestoppers, Firestoppers gives people the power to speak up and stop arson, 100% anonymously."
Anyone who does have any information can call Firestoppers on 0800 169 5558.
Or people can call Durham Constabulary on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via crimestoppers-uk.org/.