Tracy and Dennis Sinclair stand on the bare cement slab where their replacement home was beginning to take shape.
Tracy and Dennis Sinclair stand on the bare cement slab where their replacement home was beginning to take shape. Contributed

Family home disappears

IMAGINE having your house burn down, waiting 15 months for it to be re-built and then driving past to discover the replacement building had been stolen.

That is exactly the predicament Millmerran's Sinclair family found itself in after brazen thieves dismantled and stole everything but the concrete slab of their half-rebuilt home.

"If there was a kitchen sink, they would have taken that too," Tracy Sinclair said.

"I drove past on November 11 and that was the last time I saw the house.

"This morning (Friday) I pulled up and it was deja vu - the house had disappeared."

The Sinclair family lost everything when a raging fire tore through their home on September 15, 2010.

Not only was the house completely destroyed, they also lost all their photos, sporting memorabilia, clothes and even their pet dog and its three newborn puppies.

They have been living in a "half house" on a nearby block since the fire.

The rebuild was going at a snail's pace but the entire frame had finally been erected and the outside cladding was waiting to be installed.

"The windows were in the frames and everything was ready for the cladding," Mrs Sinclair said.

"But someone has dismantled and stolen the whole bloody thing."

The isolated location of the house contributed to the level of damage caused in last year's fire.

It also meant whoever stole the Sinclairs' house had plenty of time and space to pull off the colossal heist.

Mrs Sinclair said police were following several leads, but her insurance company was still "scratching its head" over whether or not she would receive compensation.

"What lovely people these thieves must be," she said with more than a hint of sarcasm.

"We're still trying to get back on our feet after the fire.

"My son is in hospital after an angle grinder accident with his finger, our cat just died and now this has happened.

"It's one of those weeks you wish never happened."

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