Sentimental items recovered from sinkhole home in Seffner - WFLA News Channel 8

Sentimental items recovered from sinkhole home in Seffner

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SEFFNER, FL -

Demolition crews began work Sunday to tear down the Seffner house that is somehow still managing to stand over a sinkhole.

"The objective here is to clear as much of the house as possible to get a better view of what we have not been able to see, which is the actual opening itself," said Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill.

The family, who lived in the house for four-decades, sat across the street and watched while a backhoe with a long reaching boom tore apart the structure.

"I had my eyes closed. It was too much," said Wanda Carter, who grew up in the home.

Crews managed to salvage many of the family's sentimental belongings including an American flag, war medals, and a bible.

"God works in mysterious ways and he knew we needed this," said Carter.

The sinkhole suddenly opened up Thursday night while Jeff Bush was in bed. Bush lived at the Faithway Dr. home with his brother, Jeremy, and his in-laws. He was sucked into the hole, along with everything in his bedroom. The recovery mission was called off Saturday after authorities determined there was no way he survived and no safe way to dig out his body.

Crews will return to the home Monday morning to finish demolition.

"Once they can get a better view, than they can get a sense of what the next step is," said Merrill.

Engineers said Saturday they plan to fill the sinkhole in an effort to stabilize the area. Two neighboring homes on Faithway Dr. are also considered compromised. Those families were forced to evacuate and were given about 30-minutes Saturday to remove what they could from their homes.

"It's a nightmare. It's a living nightmare," said neighbor Ken Dascher.  "I'm thinking about calling in an inspector, or engineer of some kind to just inspect it and see where we're at."

The Red Cross is assisting the affected families. Anyone who wants to help, can make a donation on a website set up by Hillsborough County Fire Rescue: www.firefighter-relief.com

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