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Family of man trapped in sinkhole seeking closure | News

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Family of man trapped in sinkhole seeking closure

SEFFNER, Florida -- Crews have called off their efforts to save a man who was trapped in a sinkhole after it opened up around his bedroom.

Shortly after the devastating announcement Saturday evening that the mission had changed from a search effort for Jeff Bush to a demolition effort, family, friends, and neighbors held an impromptu vigil around the house.

Meanwhile, crews prepared equipment for the demolition, which will begin Sunday morning. Friends said the number labeled on the equipment was the same number as the house's address, a spooky kind of fate for them.

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"I thought [the house] was going to be a great place," Jeff's brother, Jeremy Bush, said earlier in the day, his voice breaking. "I feel that they're not going to be able to get him out and that's where his grave is going to be, and I truly hope they can get him out so we can have some kind of closure."

Jeremy said he and Jeff were just a year apart in age, and were really close as brothers. Jeremy got Jeff a job so that they could work together.

Meanwhile, Jeremy's girlfriend's grandfather, the man who has owned the house for 40 years, was holding out hope for Jeff's recovery.

"There's a purpose for this, but we won't ever know," Buddy Wicker said. "This is a good example right here of how fast life is gone."

Throughout the day, two houses were evacuated that sit on either side of the home where the sinkhole occurred. Each family had just 20 to 30 minutes to pack up their belongings. Hillsborough County Fire Rescue said the sinkhole had compromised the foundation of those houses, leaving them unsafe. One of the evacuated families could be seen hugging firefighters, thankful for their help.

There's a website to collect donations for Jeremy's family, along with others affected by the sinkhole's destruction.

"I lost my brother. I lost everything I own. I worked hard for everything I had," Jeremy said.


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