By Watcharapong Jingkhaojai
Chiang Mai police chief Pol Maj General Sarayuth Sa-nguanpokhai inspected the temple later on Thursday morning.
The 4am blaze, which took two hours to extinguish, caused at least Bt10 million worth of damage.
The two-storey teakwood residence of the abbot was sealed off as investigators tried to trace the cause.
About 70 per cent of the building was affected and all of the furniture and electrical appliances and several Buddha images were damaged.
Abbot Chaokhun Mongkolsiri Inthawanno (Khruba Inkham), 90, suffered smoke inhalation but was otherwise uninjured.
He told Sarayuth he’d been awakened by knocking at his door and saw the smoke and flames. A temple staff member braved the fire to carry him to safety, he said.