March 02--Seffner residents are being evacuated from other two homes near the house where Jeff Bush was swallowed by a sinkhole as he slept.
Investigators have determined the homes at 238 and 242 Faithway Drive are also in danger, and the residents are being given about a half-hour to get their belongings out while accompanied by firefighters, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue spokesman Ronnie Rivera said. The sinkhole formed Thursday night under the house at 240 Faithway.
Engineers have discovered soft soil underneath the two houses ordered evacuated.
The family at 242 Faithway Drive will get help with shelter from a local church, said Kelly Engel with Hillsborough County social services. Engel said she hasn't been able to contact the occupants of 238 Faithway Drive about their plans.
As the other families evacuate, engineers are testing the integrity of the ground 239 Faithway Drive, across the street from where the sinkhole formed, said Hillsborough County Sheriff's Deputy Manny Gonzalez.
Work resumed at 7 a.m. to find Jeff Bush, 37, who was in his bedroom Thursday night when the earth opened and took him and everything else in his room. Five other people were in the house but managed to escape unharmed. Bush's brother jumped into the hole to try to help, but he had to be rescued himself by a sheriff's deputy.
As workers expanded the area they were testing, deputies expanded the restricted zone, asking media to move about 50 feet.
Crews were taking boring samples of the ground around the sinkhole, said Larry Madrid, president of Madrid Engineering.
"We are still delineating the edge of the limit of the sinkhole," he said "We don't know if it has changed."
Heavy equipment should arrive in scene later today or Sunday, he said.
Engineers spent Friday on the property, taking soil samples and running various tests -- while acknowledging that the entire lot was dangerous. No one was allowed in the home.
Fanilia Joseph lives two doors down from where Bush disappeared and said she's scared. "I have my clothes and personal belongings ready to go," said Joseph, 49, a restaurant worker who has lived at 236 Faithway Drive for a dozen years.
"I am very worried," Joseph said.
Ricky Arey, who lives across the street from 240 Faithway Drive, said he is worried about his home, at 239 Faithway.
"My wife wouldn't let our daughter sleep here last night," he said.
Buddy Wicker, who owns the home where Jeff Bush lived, said he has sinkhole insurance and is working with his insurance company.
"I have 60 years of memories in that house," he said. "I know it is history. I just want them to find Jeff."
Wicker said his granddaughter, Rachel Wicker, is scheduled to marry Jeremy Bush, Jeff Bush's brother who risked his life by jumping into the hole after Jeff.
"He was a great guy," Wicker said of Jeff Bush. "He would give you the shift off his back."
Ronnie Rivera, spokesman for Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, said this morning: "Our hearts go out to the families ... because they do not have their family member with them at this time."
Hillsborough fire officials announced that a relief fund has been set up for families affected by the sinkhole. If you would like to donate, go to http://firefighter-relief.com/" htxt="seffner sinkhole" name="web">firefighter-relief.com.
If you would like to contact the family, you may email mailto_WickerFamilyHCFR@gmail.com" name="web">WickerFamilyHCFR@gmail.com
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