SASKATOON - A house in an upscale Saskatoon neighbourhood is about to be demolished. Its owner is nowhere to be found.

Neighbours say the home, located in the 100 block of Beechdale Crescent, has been vacant for several years, with some even pitching in to care for the deserted property.

"All the neighbours here have been pretty much complaining about the house as we've all been taking turns cutting grass and trying to maintain it,” said a woman who lives in the neighbourhood.

While the exact value of the home is difficult to pin down, similar houses in the area currently on the market are listed from $500,000 or more.

But a notice from the Saskatoon Fire Department posted on the home’s front door and addressed to its owner says the uninhabited home could soon be levelled.

Foul aroma

The Saskatoon Fire Department began looking in to the Briarwood neighbourhood home earlier this year after residents began complaining about a foul smell coming from the house.

Assistant Chief Wayne Rodger said the department tried unsuccessfully to get in touch with the owner before eventually gaining access to the home, and in the process, finding the odour’s source.

“(We) discovered there had been a significant water leak due to lack of heat over winter months. So this free-flowing water resulted in a large amount of mould growth,” Rodger said.

Notice of demolition

Rodger said further attempts were made to contact the owner and have the mould removed, but they too were unsuccessful. Its believed the owner is no longer living in Canada.

“We're now at the stage where our only course of action is to demolish the home,” Rodger said. It’s not our position to repair these buildings when nobody is responsible for them.”

Significant degradation

While the empty house may appear to have value when viewed from the outside, Rodger said inside it’s a different story.

“The amount of degradation on the inside is significant due to the moisture content that was in that home for who knows how long, (it’s) affected the entire interior of the home,” Rodger said.

Demolition of the home is set to begin sometime in early October. Rodger said while the city has demolished neglected properties before, this situation is unique.

“It’s a fairly newer building. Most of the buildings we address are generally in what would appear, at least from the outside in more of a dilapidated state.”