BY KELLY ROCHE
An abandoned central Mississauga townhouse damaged by a methamphetamine lab explosion nine years ago is being sold to a charity for $2.
“We’re happy. What can I say?,” said Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga outreach manager Kevin Whyte.
City council passed a motion Wednesday approving the sale of 5032 Mariner Court, near McLaughlin Rd. and Eglinton Ave. W.
The total amount deemed uncollectible by the city is $377, 911.99.
Elizabeth Nykforchyn was stunned to hear a Mississauga family is lined up to move in, likely by spring.
“That will be fantastic,” said Nykforchyn, adding she has been living on Mariner for more than 30 years.
“Thank God I don’t live next door to (5032). I would probably sell my house,” she said.
Fire sent emergency crews to the address on Sunday, July 23, 2006 at 8:14 p.m.
An investigation revealed an explosion occurred as a result of a ‘flash bang’ in the kitchen area where a meth lab was maintained, Peel Regional Police Sgt. Matt Small confirmed Wednesday.
Two men were in the house at the time, said Small.
They transported themselves to an emergency room and were then flown to a Rochester, New York hospital due to the severity of their injuries.
One of the injured men died in hospital and “the subsequent investigation determined that this party was the one responsible for the meth lab,” said Small.
No charges were laid.
The homeowners moved overseas and rented the house to the people linked to the blast, said Mayor Bonnie Crombie, noting the city spent $23,914.37 to clean and board up the home.
The two-day cost of police dismantling the meth lab was $126,260.50, with a lien in the same amount registered against the property in 2007.
The homeowners’ insurance company refused to compensate them, leading to a lawsuit filed against the city, which was upheld in court.
The city has been trying to sell the property – valued in the $400,000 range – and last month’s tax sale failed to produce bidders.
Holes in the roof resulted from the explosion, with raccoons living inside 5032, said Crombie, adding the house is in a terrible state of repair.
“It’s going to be a complete gut,” said Whyte.
“We’re basically going to take everything out of it, redesign, and rebuild over the next couple of months.”
Ward 5 Coun. Carolyn Parrish came up with the idea to transfer the house to Habitat for Humanity, saying it’s turning a negative situation into something positive.
“The people in the neighbourhood are going to be delirious,” said Parrish.
Paperwork and legal matters must be sorted out, and building permits may have to be acquired but “it’ll be a good winter project,” said Whyte.
Volunteers are in place and “they’re itching to get building. We’re ready to go,” said Whyte.