Tuesday, July 16

Demolition crew destroy wrong house while owner is out at work



Steve Ballas, a businessman, said he received a call from a friend on Wednesday informing him that his three-bedroom suburban house was being demolished.

“I thought he was joking at first,” he told Fairfax Media.

“Then I realised he wasn’t and I ran out … leaving a work colleague in charge.”

The mix-up occurred because Mr Ballas’s house was incorrectly numbered as 200 Marion Street in the Sydney suburb of Bankstown, even though his street number is 198.

Adding to the confusion, his neighbour was incorrectly numbered as 202.

The property before it was demolished

“The owner of the [demolition] company was on another job and raced over here when he heard, he was speechless,” Mr Ballas said.

“He was looking at it and looking at me and I just said there’s nothing you can do…no one was hurt, this is going to be a thing we laugh at one day.”

Daniel’s Demolitions, the demolition company, said they were “devastated” by the mistake. Workers apparently checked the properties but failed to notice the number on the post box of the house to be demolished because it was covered by junk mail.

The owner of the company said he was given instructions to demolish the house by email and had not met the owner.

“I often get work to demolish buildings from overseas, so it’s not unusual not to meet a client,” the owner, named as Daniel, told The Torch newspaper.

“From now on I’m going to have to be more specific, and put better precautions in place before we go in and demolish a building.”

The local Canterbury Bankstown council confirmed that Mr Ballas lived at 198 Marion Street, between numbers 196 and 200, and that a demolition order had been approved for number 200.

Mr Ballas said he bought the house fifteen years ago and has always believed he owned 200 Marion Street. He was not living in the home but was planning to rent it.

“I guess that developers will come out of the woodwork and offer me money,” he said.

“But I just want something back there…it was a little nest egg that I bought for my son.”