Sinkhole Causes Evacuation In Seffner, Florida

A sinkhole caused four homes to be evacuated in Seffner, Florida, after a massive opened up between two homes in the neighborhood.

The sinkhole in Hillsborough County grew to 27 feet deep and 22 feet wide, according to statements by code enforcement workers to Fox 13 News. Local officials also noted that the Seffner sinkhole is located near Clay Pit Park on Clay Pit Road. The original 911 call about the Florida sinkhole came from 11918 Clay Pitt Road, according to an ABC News report.

Hillsborough County code enforcement officers did not reportedly find any evidence the the “depression” or sinkhole, will expand. No other depressions were found near the initial hole, leading officials to feel there is no threat posed by the shocking discovery.

The Clay Pit Road sinkhole is located less than two miles from the sinkhole that swallowed a sleeping man in 2013. Jeff Bush, 36, was presumed dead shortly after the ground collapsed beneath his bedroom during the late evening hours in March two years ago. Jeremy Bush, the victim’s brother, was awakened by screams for help. Attempts to pull Jeff from the growing sinkhole failed, leaving his brother feeling helpless and in shock.

“It was something you would see in a movie. You wouldn’t, in your wildest dreams, you wouldn’t think anything like that could happen, especially here,” Jeremy Bush told ABC Action News after the sinkhole fatality.

During the time of the 2013 sinkhole incident, there were six people inside of the home, including the wife and 2-year-old daughter of Jeremy Bush. Hillsborough County Deputy Douglas Duval was the first emergency services provider to arrive on scene. Deputy Duval was able to pull Jeremy from the sinkhole before it collapsed further and pulled him deeper inside.

“I reached down and was able to actually able to get him by his hand and pull him out of the hole. The hole was collapsing. At that time, we left the house,” Deputy Duvall recalled. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Due to concerns about the safety of rescue crews, no search was permitted for Jeff Bush. The depression continued to expand and the sinkhole grew to 30 feet wide and 20 feet deep. An “unsafe zone” was established 100 feet wide around the hole and ultimately expanded to include most of the interior of the home.

Madrid Engineering Group representative Larry Madrid deemed the Seffner are sinkhole event of 213 as “unprecedented” and said the side slopes of the depression were extremely steep. Listening devices and cameras were placed inside the home in an attempt to establish contact with Jeff Bush, but such attempted proved futile.

“We put engineering equipment into the sinkhole and didn’t see anything compatible with life,” Hillsborough County Fire Rescue representative Jessica Damico said. “The entire house is on the sinkhole.”

The only sounds heard by the engineering crews were earth movements which noting the continuation of the collapse. Fears that the home could fall into the sinkhole at any time were soon realized.

The home located at 240 Fairthway Drive was condemned by Bracken Engineering. The bedroom where Jeff Bush was sleeping was determined to be at the center of the sinkhole.

The current Seffner sinkhole will continue to be monitored to ensure that safety concerns do not arise. Because the depression was on private property, it will be the responsibility of the property owners to fill in the hole and to contact their insurance agency to assistance with the matter.

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