Detectives have issued a CCTV image to find whoever was responsible for the car fire on Tudor Road, in the Acomb area of the city, at 12.50am today.
The suspect was seen placing something underneath the BMW before setting it on fire and was later seen heading for nearby Hamilton Drive.
As a result of the fire, the BMW was completely destroyed and a Citroen Berlingo and a Mazda were damaged. The front of the house was also damaged by the fire.
Detective Sergeant Mark Jackson, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “The act of arson took place very close to the house where people were sleeping. This fire could easily have led to potentially devastating consequences.
“If you recognise the person captured on camera, or saw someone matching their description in the Tudor Road, Gale Lane or Middleton Road areas around the time of the fire, I urge you to contact the police immediately.
“I am also keen to speak to anyone who works at local garages who may have sold fuel to someone filling a petrol can, and ask them to get in touch straight away.”
Anyone with information should contact York CID on 101, select option 2 and ask for the department, email [email protected] or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, quoting reference number 12140177124.