Mississauga house explosion site sold as neighbours continue to rebuild

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WATCH ABOVE: The lot at 4201 Hickory Dr. went up for sale in September and eventually sold about a month later, though well below asking price. Current area residents and their new neighbour(s) already have one thing in common: rebuilding. Mark Carcasole reports – Dec 23, 2016

Almost six months after a house explosion on Mississauga’s Hickory Drive killed the two people inside the home and turned neighbours’ lives upside down, the lot where the bungalow once stood has been sold.

A B.C.-based mortgage company called National Holdings Ltd. took ownership of the property after the incident which killed former owners Robert Nadler and Diane Page.

In September it was reported that the property was put on the market through Save Max Realty with an asking price of $675,000. At the time, there was no information about the fatal explosion in the public listing.

Save Max Realty confirmed to Global News on Friday morning that the home was sold in October for $550,000 – well below the asking price.

READ MORE: Mississauga house explosion: Investigators identify body of woman found in rubble

In an email to Global News, Toronto-based real estate lawyer Bob Aaron said he assumes the price drop was likely because realtors “disclosed (the explosion) – which is the obligation of the agents – or that local knowledge or the condition of the house made it obvious.”

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Barbara Castleberry and her 11-year-old son are still displaced from their townhouse just behind the explosion site. While she waits to get back into her home, she welcomes the sale and the new neighbours – whoever they are.

“I am glad if somebody else can buy this property, make a home, start new family memories,” she said.

READ MORE: Mississauga house explosion lot for sale, but no mention of deadly blast in listing

“I think it’s going to be great for the neighbourhood … I’m just hoping it’s going to be a family who will move in and we can all become friends down the road.”

At this point, the lot at 4201 Hickory Dr. remains empty with no signs of any work being done.

But there are crews feverishly getting work done at other homes in the neighbourhood. Even in sub-zero temperatures, roofers are tethered in and the portion of the small street closest to Rathburn Road is loud with the sounds of hammers, saws and lumber.

“The construction company’s really good,” Castleberry said of the contractors working on her complex.

READ MORE: Mississauga house explosion: Blast site released, residents allowed to return home

“They have been working through snow (and) low temperatures just to make sure it will be completed in a timely manner. I have to say I’m very appreciative and sometimes almost sorry for the guys who have to do this,” she said while laughing.

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Despite it all, Castleberry said she’s trying to stay focused on the positives.

Dealing with insurance has been stressful and she had a dispute with the company she rented her water heater from, but she, her family and her neighbours are still alive and unhurt. While not at home, they can still celebrate the holidays.

“You’ve just got to be thankful. Christmas is a season of peace, thankfulness, and just optimism,” Castleberry said.

READ MORE: Woman displaced by Mississauga house explosion claims water heater company took advantage

She said she expects her home to be safe to re-inhabit by mid-to-late-2017.

City of Mississauga officials said 33 homes are still condemned. That is four fewer than Fire Chief Tim Beckett reported in September.

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