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Bringing down the house: Demolition of the home swallowed by sinkhole

1:18 PM, Mar 3, 2013   |    comments
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(ABC NEWS) -- Crews were out at the scene at first light Sunday morning, along with the family of a man who was swallowed by a sinkhole beneath the home in Seffner on Thursday.

The demolition of the home began around 8 a.m. Heavy machinery carefully lifted the American flag off the front of the home and saved it for the Wicker family, who spent decades in the home.

Jeffrey Bush was sleeping in his bed Thursday night when the sinkhole opened up and swallowed the floor beneath his bed, taking the bed with Bush with it. His brother Jeremy rushed in to rescue him, but when deputies arrived, they couldn't find Jeff Bush and deputies had to rescue Jeremy. Everyone else in the home escaped.

The slow and meticulous demolition process began Sunday morning with the front of the home, so that the family might salvage some of their belongings. They have not been allowed to go into the home to retrieve them.

 

During the demolition, crews were able to save a large family portrait that moved the family to tears.

Special operations crews boxed up items scooped from the house so the family could go through them.

Family members told ABC Action News that they are trying to get used to the idea that this will be Jeff Bush's final resting spot.

 On Saturday, the search for Jeff was called off.

Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill said the mission was just too dangerous and it would be impossible to recover his body.

The sinkhole has now grown to 30 feet wide and 50 to 60 feet deep.  Saturday, officials said the sinkhole had also compromised the safety of the green home next to the damaged home, and the family who lived there was given about a half hour to retrieve their belongings.

The Hillsborough County Fire Department has set up a website for people to donate to the families affected by the sinkhole.

That website is: http://www.firefighter-relief.com/

Anyone wishing to contact the Wicker family directly can reach them through this email address: WickerFamilyHCFR@gmail.com .

ABC News

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