A man making traditional Vietnamese new year cakes accidentally set a fire that left his family and one other homeless.

Seattle fire officials say the man was cooking with propane burners outside when he left the pots unattended. He was also cooking in the kitchen and was in another room when he heard the smoke alarms sounding.

The fire spread quickly through the roof of his home and into a neighboring house. That second-home was heavily damaged, and may no longer be inhabitable. The home where the fire started is a total loss.

It's really so sad, said neighbor Alvina Hibbitt. They're such nice people. He is always gardening and fixing up our neighborhood.

A total of nine people have requested housing assistance from the Red Cross.

Fire officials say things could have been much worse because the homeowner had propane tanks and gas cans scattered around the outside of his home.

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