'This is going to be a thing we laugh at one day': Sydney man's house mistakenly demolished, neighbour's house still standing
In the end, it was the mailbox out front that doomed Australian man Steve Ballas' house.
The Sydney businessman was at work on Wednesday morning when he got a call from a friend saying his three-bedroom house was being demolished.
"I thought he was joking at first," the Bankstown Gun Shop owner told Domain.
"Then I realised he wasn't and I ran out of the shop, leaving a work colleague in charge."
It was a terrible mix-up, a series of unfortunate events 15 years in the making that caused Ballas' 198 Marion St home to be confused with next-door 200 Marion St.
The cause was the mail box at Ballas' property which has been incorrectly numbered as 200, since he bought the property 15 years ago.
To make matters worse the property that was meant to be demolished, 200, was incorrectly numbered as 202.
Ballas' neighbours had put a fresh label with the correct number 200 on their mailbox but junk mail was covering it when workers were checking they had the right home, Domain reported.
By the time Ballas got to his vacant property, which he had been fixing up to rent out next year, workers from Daniel's Demolitions were half way through knocking it down.
Not wanting to approach the workers in case of confrontation, Ballas said he contacted police and the council, to report that his house was being knocked down without his permission.
By the time police arrived there was just one wall standing, which Ballas told the demolition crew to bowl as there was no point keeping it.
"The owner of the company was on another job and raced over here when he heard, he was speechless," Ballas told Domain.
"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."
A Canterbury Bankstown Council spokesman confirmed demolition had been approved at 200, not 198, Marion St.
Daniel Mandarano, owner of Daniel's Demolitions, declined to comment but said he was devastated about the mix-up.
Mandarano told The Torch he had only communicated with the person who paid for the demolition via email and was paid some money up front to do the job.