Demolition starts on Florida home where sinkhole swallowed man


Police tape surrounds the house of Jeff Bush, who was consumed by a sinkhole while lying in his bed last night, March 1, 2013 in Seffner, Florida. First responders were not able to reach Bush after he disappeared and now say it is a recovery mission.


Edward Linsmier

Authorities on Sunday began to demolish the Florida home where a 60-foot sink hole swallowed and killed Jeff Bush.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue spokeswoman Jessica Damico told USA Today that officials were able to drag some personal property from the house to a "safe zone" beyond the sidewalk.

They were able to reclaim several mementos for the family including a purse, a wallet, some money and two laptop computers.

"We were able to get a couple family photos," she said. "They pulled out the only photo they had of their grandmother."

Bush, 37, was swallowed up by the giant sink hole-- about 20 feet wide and 60 feet deep-- that engulfed his bedroom on Thursday night, reports CNN.

His brother Jeremy Bush nearly became another victim after he jumped into the sink hole to try and save his brother. A sheriff's deputy arriving at the scene managed to pull Jeremy to safety.

Officials told CNN that the huge sink hole was still expanding and the home could collapse at any time. They made the difficult decision to call off the search for Bush after rescuers failed to find any sign of life.

"We just have not been able to locate Mr. Bush, and so for that reason the rescue effort is being discontinued," Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill told reporters Saturday evening.

"At this point, it's really not possible to recover the body."

On Monday, officials will continue to demolish the house and clear as much debris as possible.

Two neighboring houses have also been evacuated because the sink hole has weakened the ground underneath them, reports Reuters. The residents will likely never be able to return home.