Demolition of homes at Dunedin sinkhole underway - WFLA News Channel 8

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Demolition of homes at Dunedin sinkhole underway

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Demolition of the homes began shortly after 9 a.m. Friday. Demolition of the homes began shortly after 9 a.m. Friday.
DUNEDIN, FL -

Crews demolished a home damaged by a massive sinkhole and started filling in the gap with dirt on Robmar Road on Friday.

The huge sinkhole opened on Thursday, swallowing parts of two homes and prompting fire officials to evacuate a total of seven homes, one of which was vacant.  The second damaged home, which has been condemned, is expected to be torn down on Saturday.

Related story: Dunedin sinkhole destroys 2 homes

Families in four surrounding homes were forced to evacuate, in addition to the two condemned homes. Engineers will conduct more soil samples to try to determine how stable the ground is around their homes and when they can return home.

As crews demolished the home at 1112 Robmar Road, they tried to salvage some belongings from the family, even climbing on rubble and through a window to retrieve items. Some of the items collected will be taken to a recycling facility where the family can go through them.

Related content: Insurance company knew about Dunedin sinkhole for years

Meanwhile, evacuated residents watched the demolition and waited for word on their own properties.

Matthew Tegerdine said he's "in limbo," trying to figure out his family's next move. His wife is nervous about going back even after the evacuation is lifted, he said.

"I don't know what my options are at this point," he said.

Down the street, Jill Latsha said her family had "some nightmares" after the commotion on their street.

With the two houses gone, and likely some neighbors with them, Latsha says she knows her neighborhood will change.

"It will never be the same," she said.

Crews filled the sinkhole Friday with about 5,200 cubic yards of dirt. A total of about 8,000 cubic yards – less than originally estimated – are expected to be used in the project.

Evacuated residents from the homes that haven't been condemned could be allowed to return to their homes as early as this weekend.

The Greater Dunedin Community Foundation is setting up a fund to help the two children who are now homeless. Board member Shawn Rudock says a 13-year-old lives in one house and a baby lives in the other. They plan to give them gift cards to buy food and toys. You can learn more about the foundation here.

Related content: USF professor says sinkholes are natural part of Fla. landscape

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