The family inside the home on Gwinnett Place heard someone moving outside and called 911 at 11:44 p.m., police said.
Officers spotted a man standing beside the house. He ran away, police said, but officers caught him after a short foot chase.
Police then saw smoke coming from the crawl space of the home. They called the fire department but managed to put out the fire with their fire extinguishers.
No one was injured, and the fire did not cause any structural damage to the house, police said. The residents have been allowed to return.
The suspect was being questioned at the Cary police station early Friday, and the investigation was ongoing.
Police said they were investigating the incident as a case of a break-in and felony arson.
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