ABC News reported that by Sunday evening, March 3, crews had demolished more than half of the Florida house standing over a huge sinkhole that swallowed 37-year-old Jeff Bush three days ago in. Bush’s body was not recovered.
Jeremy Bush, 35, who tried to save his brother prayed with a pastor and relatives before the demolition started. Jeremy lived there with his brother, Jeff, his girlfriend, Rachel Wicker; and their daughter, Hannah, 2.
The operator of the heavy equipment first took off a front wall. The crew worked carefully enough for the family to salvage some keepsakes from the 40-year history of the house that was built in 1974. As the items were taken from the house and placed on the lawn, cheers from relatives and neighbors went up.
Taken from the house was a family Bible where baptism certificates, cards and photos had been placed between the pages of that Bible over the years. Among the other items were a jewelry box and a pink teddy bear for Hannah.
When demolition stopped for the day on Sunday evening, only a few walls of the house remained. The demolition will continue on Monday.
Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill said crews would turn to clearing the debris as much as possible to allow officials and engineers to see the sinkhole in the open.
Officials also will determine what will happen to the two houses on both sides of the now-demolished house. Experts say the sinkhole has “compromised” those houses, but it’s unclear whether steps can be taken to save them.