A Chinese man has seen $20,700 cash go up in smoke after his wife stashed the money in a wood-burning oven and later set it on fire in a costly moment of absent-mindedness.
Hunan construction company owner Wang Bin, 39, borrowed the money from friends and family to pay his workers who were set to complete a major project, Anhui News reports.
His wife hid the bundles of cash inside a stove but the day after stashing it away tossed a lit match into the stove along with some burning paper to heat some water to make tea.
When she went to add some wood to the fire she realised the plastic bag containing the wads of cash was well alight and quickly tried to put out the blaze.
Despite her best efforts the majority of the notes were charred beyond recognition.
Mr Wang said his wife Hao was "devastated".
"It was a hard blow," he said.
"But I have forgiven her, and we will survive.
"We had not been paid ourselves yet for our work, but I needed to pay the workers so we borrowed the money from friends and family, and we wanted somewhere to keep it safe for a day before paying it out."
Ms Hao tried to take the notes to her local Bank of China branch to have the money replaced but staff told her that if less than half the banknote remains they cannot exchange it for a new one.
The unfortunate couple are not the first to be burnt for a large amount of cash.
In 2012 a western Sydney man hid $15,000 in his oven which his wife later turned on and burnt the wads of notes.
However, the tradie was lucky enough to have the cash exchanged after he sent the remains of the notes to the Reserve Bank of Australia for forensic analysis.