You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Most of house demolished after sinkhole cave-in

Workers managed to salvage some keepsakes.

Chris O’Meara/Associated Press

Workers managed to salvage some keepsakes.

SEFFNER, Fla. — Crews on Sunday razed more than half of the home perched over a huge hole that swallowed a man three days ago, managing to salvage some keepsakes for family members.

Jeremy Bush, 35, tried to save his brother, Jeff, when the earth opened up Thursday night. On Sunday morning, Bush and relatives prayed with a pastor as the Tampa-area home — where he lived with his girlfriend, Rachel Wicker; their daughter, Hannah, 2; and others — was demolished.

Continue reading below

The demolition crew worked gingerly, first taking down a front wall. Family belongings were scooped onto the lawn in hopes of salvaging parts of the family’s 40-year history in the home.

As of Sunday afternoon — when only a few walls of the home remained — a Bible, family photos, a jewelry box and a pink teddy bear for Hannah were among the items saved.

Cheers went up from family, friends, and neighbors each time something valuable was salvaged.

Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill said the remaining walls would be knocked down Monday and then crews would turn to clearing the debris to allow engineers a better look at the hole.

Several generations of family members lived in the home at the time of the ground collapse, including Jeff Bush, the man now presumed dead.

The search for Bush, 37, was called off Saturday. He was in his bedroom Thursday night when the ground opened. Five others in the house at the time escaped unharmed.

Loading comments...
Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of