A US Navy veteran named Philip Williams traveled to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in December 2014 for knee surgery. Little did he realize that when he would return home to West Hempstead, his house would be gone.

The 69 year-old Long Island man returned to his neighborhood in August of this year, only to find that his two story cream colored cottage had been demolished. Williams had suffered complications after the surgery and was held up longer than expected.

Pix 11 reports that neighbors had complained to the Town of Hempstead that the home had violated the town's code. Local officials say they made attempts to reach Williams but he did not respond.  A public hearing was called and the cottage was dilapidated. Williams says he continued to pay his mortgage, and set the home's heat to a temperature so the pipes wouldn't freeze.

Williams is now caught in an ugly legal battle with the town and wants reimbursement for his home and belongings.

Williams says he lost all of his belongings, including his late wife's engagement ring.