Boarding house up for auction months after three residents lost their lives in horror blaze
- Vajda House is up for auction after allegedly deliberately lit fire claimed 3 lives
- Former boarding house in Newtown described as a ‘fire-damaged blank canvas’
- Potential buyers looking to restore property or redevelop, according to agent
A gutted boarding house in Newtown is on the market and attracting buyer interest, despite its recent dark and tragic past.
The 12-room two level property formerly known as Vajda House in inner-Sydney Newtown will go under the hammer at auction later this month, just weeks after a fire tragically claimed the lives of three residents.
It’s been three months since neighbours woke to the sound of loud explosions early one morning and found the boarding home well alight, allegedly sparked by the use of an accelerant.
Neighbours rushed to the aid of residents, some of which jumped from the second story to flee the burning property.
Three men died in the blaze while a former resident remains behind bars charged with their murders.
The extensively gutted property was boarded up before being advertised for auction as a ‘fire-damaged blank canvas’ by Romani Estate Agents last month.
The Newtown boarding house where three men tragically lost their lives will go under the hammer on June 22
Neighbours woke to the sound of loud explosions early one morning and found Vajda House well alight (pictured firefighters at the scene)
The agent says the listing has attracted interest from renovators, developers and builders.
‘This two-level building sits on a prime 190 square metre corner block with two street frontages,’ the online advertisement for the property states.
‘It offers an outstanding opportunity for buyers or investors to secure a supremely spacious, versatile property and capitalise on its many possibilities.
‘The building is in need of major renovation work, but with a prime Newtown address and a premium corner position, it presents a rare opportunity with many possibilities.
‘It’s a virtual blank canvas that’s now ready for some inspiration and creativity to bring it back to life and take advantage of such an appealing position’
The description end with the agent acknowledging and paying tribute to families impacted by the fatal blaze in March.
The property will go under the hammer on June 22.
Some boarding house residents were forced to jump from the second storey to flee the burning building
Some potential buyers want to restore the property, while others want to redevelop the site.
‘There’s a little bit of interest, in a couple of weeks we’ll know the result,’ Joe Vigorito told the Daily Telegraph.
‘Mainly it’s been to restore … there’s a mixture, some would like to keep it the way it is, obviously subject to council.
‘Some would like to turn it into a house, that’s what they tell me.’
The property was last sold for $800,000 in 2011 and could today fetch between $2 and $2.2 million in a non-fire-damaged state, according to CoreLogic estimates.
Residents left homeless by the tragic have since found alternative accommodation.
Vajda House is owned by a Malaysian-born property millionaire, Albert Wong, 71, who owns several other boarding houses across Sydney.
Mr Wong had nothing to do with the fire and has not been charged.
The council confirmed at the time that the boarding house had a current fire compliance certificate and was registered.
Police allege the deadly blaze was deliberately lit after finding a jerry can under a nearby car along with traces of a flammable liquid at the scene.
Boarding house resident Richard Hotoran, 45, was charged with three counts of murder and one count of destroying or damaging a property by fire or explosive.
Pictured are the charred remains of the boarding house in Newtown after it burst into flames on March 15. It will now either be restored or knocked down and redeveloped