Four people have been lucky to escape a burning house near Taumarunui, and police believe someone crawled under the house to deliberately set it on fire.
The fire quickly engulfed the house on Whakapapa Road, Kakahi, about 10.50pm on Monday and then a shed on the same rural property was set alight about 90 minutes later, said Senior Sergeant Grant Alabaster.
"The four occupants have been incredibly lucky to escape before the fire took hold and engulfed the house. This incident could have easily resulted in disaster had it not been for the quick thinking of those inside.
"Initial findings indicate the fire was lit from underneath the house."
Both the house and shed were completely destroyed.
"Someone will know something about these fires and we ask them to come forward and help us locate whoever is responsible for them," Sen Sgt Alabaster said.