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Update: Sinkhole Swallows Seffner Man Sleeping In Bed

Officials are on the scene and believe the man is dead.

BRANDON, FL -- A local man is believed to be dead after being swallowed by a sinkhole Thursday night, Feb. 28.

Jeffrey Bush, 36, was asleep in bed around 11 p.m. when the ground opened up beneath his home at 240 Faithway Dr., Seffner, and swallowed him, said Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office spokesman Larry McKinnon.

"It's a movie scene behind there," said McKinnon. "That's what it is."

McKinnon said Bush's mother was asleep in another room when she heard a loud crunching sound. When she rushed to her son's room, she saw that the entire floor had caved in and her son was gone.

Bush's younger brother, Jeremy, 34, said he could hear his brother screaming from inside the hole. He dove in, trying to find his brother as the hole continued caving in.

Deputy Douglas Duvall arrived on the scene and was able to grab Jeremy Bush before he was engulfed as well.

At a press conference, an emotional Jeremy Bush talked about his efforts to save his brother.

"We heard a loud crash. I ran in there. I heard somebody screaming, my brother screaming. And I ran in there and all I could see was this big hole, all I could see was the top of his bed. I didn't see anything else. So I jumped in the hole and tried digging him out. And I couldn't get him out. All I could hear was him screaming, hollering for me. I couldn't do nothing."

Jeremy Bush said he didn't think twice about risking his own life to help his brother.

"I didn’t care. I just wanted my brother," he said.

Officials are now searching the sinkhole for signs of life. The opening reportedly is 20- to-30-feet wide at the top, with a 100-foot safety zone estabished.

Neighboring homes have been evacuated by authorities although the sinkhole is confined to only the Bush home.

The family says the home has never had an issue with sinkholes.

There were five people in the home at the time, including a 2-year-old child.

"It's a giant cavern," said McKinnon.

Brandon Patch Editor Linda Chion Kenney has been on the scene, reporting developments as they occur.

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BRANDON PATCH SEFFNER SINKHOLE COVERAGE (Through April 4, starting with the most recent posts):

  • Video: Inside the 'Catastrophic' Seffner Sinkhole
  • Seffner Saga Continues With 4th Sinkhole Report
  • 3rd Seffner Sinkhole Increases Community Concerns
  • Another Sinkhole Opens in Seffner
  • Community Aids Displaced Seffner Sinkhole Victims
  • Memorial Announced for Sinkhole Victim
  • Jaudon Family Displaced in Seffner Sinkhole Tragedy
  • HuffPost Live Looks at Seffner Sinkhole Tragedy: 'Saving Us From Sinkholes'
  • Seffner Sinkhole Video: 'In a Flash It Happens and the Whole World's Changed'
  • Video: Final Walls Come Down on Seffner Sinkhole at 240 Faithway Drive
  • 2nd Seffner Sinkhole Under Investigation as Stabilization Work Continues
  • Seffner Sinkhole Homeowner: 'God Has a Plan'
  • Seffner Sinkhole Victim Officially 'Presumed' Deceased
  • Readers React to Seffner Sinkhole Tragedy
  • Family Treasures Salvaged from Seffner Sinkhole Demolition
  • Demolition Under Way at Seffner Sinkhole Site
  • More Photos From the Seffner Sinkhole Site
  • Seffner Sinkhole Operation Readies for Impending Demolition
  • 3rd Home 'Compromised' at Seffner Sinkhole Site; Relief Fund Established
  • Video: Deputy Douglas Duvall Recounts Seffner Sinkhole Heroics
  • Situation 'Extremely Unsafe' at Seffner Sinkhole Site
  • Family Member Recalls Horror of Seffner Sinkhole Tragedy
  • Photos From the Scene of Sinkhole in Seffner
  • Video: Hillsborough Fire Chief Discusses Seffner Sinkhole
  • Hillsborough County Among Top 10 Sinkhole-Prone Florida Counties
  • Update: Sinkhole Swallows Seffner Man Sleeping in Bed
  • Video of Deputy Who Worked To Save Men From Sinkhole
  • Video: Fire Chief Answers Questions             

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L J D-burg March 02, 2013 at 06:12 PM
Kevin you should out cutting grass, i know you wont get a contract cutting the white house lawn regardless who is president. Blame that on yourself. ignorance is a desease and you are very sick
Lynne Webb March 02, 2013 at 06:15 PM
So now another reason to blame the cops and firefighters? It was night. Vision was limited. This is reportedly in an area where sinkholes are not common. So you think all emergency should have sink hole drills? How about drills for earthquakes? How about drills for tornados in Alaska? The man seen in the hole was the brother they rescued. Sinkholes are caused by limestone caves underground. As ground water depletes, the earths crust gives way to disaster. I know. I was standing right next to one as it opened up. It could have easlily swallowed a small home or mobile home. Spooky sucking sound as it happened. The ground shook and then all was quiet.
jennifer March 02, 2013 at 06:19 PM
I agree with you, When God calls you home you have to go no matter where you are or what you are doing.
Bob Davis March 02, 2013 at 06:20 PM
And animalover2 needs to get into a King James Baptist Church and learn what it really says about the judgement. God is not all sugar and spice and everything nice. He said Himself that he is a vengeful God.
Lynne Webb March 02, 2013 at 06:22 PM
In Graylon's defense, I think he meant something akin to 'Don't go to bed mad. Don't hold on to old grudges.' When a persons life is over it's too late to make amends and mend broken fenses. Just saying. But maybe he means something that got lost in the translation.
Friend of God March 02, 2013 at 06:27 PM
I cried tears of pain as soon as I read this. This is one of the worst stories I have seen in a long time. Aside from everything else the focus should be to pray for this poor family. My heart goes out to them all. may God keep you all and ease your pain. I am extremely sorry for your loss. Finger pointing and bickering is not helpful. Just pray for everyine involved.
Friend of God March 02, 2013 at 06:28 PM
Amen... Werefox
James Kroeger March 02, 2013 at 06:29 PM
Neighbors, friends, family and the state of Florida should create a support web page to accept donations to help this family relocate to another house. We all know times are extremely tough to try and pick up and move on. My thoughts and prayers are focused on this family in dire need. God bless them in their time of grief and despair...comfort them with their loss of a loved one and the strain of having the uncertainty of where to go from here.
Liz March 02, 2013 at 06:33 PM
To the person who commented and said this was a crap neighborhood is wrong. Seffner/Brandon area has newer and older homes. I live within one mile of this neighborhood and drove through this neighborhood after hearing of this happening and its an older sub division but a lot of people there do up keep their homes. Seffner/Brandon are is by no means low class... the people who live here usually tend to be middle to upper class. Its just all about how people up keep on their homes. Some people do and some people dont. You dont have to be so rude, especially in a very tragic situation...
Kerry Walker March 02, 2013 at 06:35 PM
I'm a bit confused here. My heart goes out to this young man and his family, but this story just doesn't make sense. I have a degree in Architectural engineering and I have built a bunch of foundations and entire houses. I would like to see a picture of this sinkhole. The house is built on a foundation and the structure (slab or floor joists) ties into the foundation, so if a sinkhole opened up under the house the floor should have stayed somewhat intact.
Raul Florido March 02, 2013 at 06:36 PM
What is that large vacant grassy area behind the property in the shape of an "L" that appears on Google Earth as if there used to be construction on it, but, although there are homes all around it, it has been left undeveloped?
James Kroeger March 02, 2013 at 06:54 PM
I agree with you Kerry. Reinforced concrete foundation with steel re-bar just don't allow for a single room to fall out like this. Only in horror movies. Very strange indeed!
Rosemary Brasch Mahan March 02, 2013 at 07:03 PM
This story is so sad. God bless and hold this family close as they try to cope with this horrific loss. To the Brother, You did Your best. And Your Brother will always be in your Heart.
BigSonnyG March 02, 2013 at 07:08 PM
Unfortunately, not even the best rescue team in the United States, which is based in Fairfax, Va. could not save that man, at least not at this time. The reason is that geologist do not know exactly how unstable the sink hole is or how large it will expand to, which is the other horrible part of this situation. That sink hole could expand three hundred to thousand feet in diameter and swallow up more than just one house. Therfore, first responders cannot risk putting additional weight on the propery without more data to evaluate the risk. Makes no sense to loose more lives. I've never heard of something like this happening to another human being, but even when I try to imagine what that poor man went through...just too horrible to even imagine. I pray that the impossible will be made possible through God that the man survive.
BigSonnyG March 02, 2013 at 07:10 PM
Unfortunately, not even the best rescue team in the United States, which is based in Fairfax, Va. could not save that man, at least not at this time. The reason is that geologist do not know exactly how unstable the sink hole is or how large it will expand to, which is the other horrible part of this situation. That sink hole could expand three hundred to thousand feet in diameter and swallow up more than just one house. Therfore, first responders cannot risk putting additional weight on the propery without more data to evaluate the risk. Makes no sense to loose more lives. I've never heard of something like this happening to another human being, but even when I try to imagine what that poor man went through...just too horrible to even imagine. I pray that the impossible will be made possible through God that the man survive.
Jen Crowder March 02, 2013 at 07:16 PM
only in a perfect world!!
Nutmeg March 02, 2013 at 07:16 PM
I want to wish to this man's family all the peace that the loving arms of Jesus has to offer. We will be seeing alot more of this when fracking is turned loose!
Crisp March 02, 2013 at 07:27 PM
As you are sleeping! This could also happen to you! It's sad that someone died because of this problem! Never take life for granted!
Jen Crowder March 02, 2013 at 07:27 PM
Have you seen the construction in FL?? I own a remodeling company and I at one point was incorporated in FL. It is everday practice for "contractors" to not follow simple safety and building codes. I watched (and reported) as a crew built a form for a slab foundation and the fill it with concrete- NO REBAR!! And the water content of the concrete was WAY too high for the purpose. Then, only 24 hours later (obviously not cured properly), another crew was there throwing up the framing!!!!! I reported it to the county inspectors and never saw any follow up. My company could not compete in FL because we refused to stoop to their practices.
Kerrie Goodale Gorgone March 02, 2013 at 07:32 PM
wow! I lived in the house right next door when this neighborhood was built in the 70's unreal!!!
gloria smith March 02, 2013 at 07:33 PM
So, Graylon, the family's loss is because we don't treat people a certain way, and don't treat ourselves well? Do I have that right? So, if we treat people well, and ourselves, we won't have sink holes...or maybe any other tragedy? Hope I have that right.
kat lantz March 02, 2013 at 07:43 PM
That is so sad!!
James Kroeger March 02, 2013 at 08:00 PM
Thanks for the information Jen Crowder. No building code enforcement...I'm appalled! I'll never buy a home in Florida...that's for sure. Contractor/crooks greasing the palms of inspectors to have this swept under the carpet. I sure hope they all get their just reward in the end...come Judgement Day!
Michael March 02, 2013 at 08:08 PM
If you live in cave country, you should already see sinkholes scattered about. They are a natural surface feature and the result of the collapse of a ceiling section in a cave.
tracey davis March 02, 2013 at 08:11 PM
We went through the same thing here in Tennessee, After the May 2010 floods our home and yard started moving , we have lots and lots of sinkholes showing and all the homes surrounding us have them also. We fought with our insurance for a year,after many test and reports they finally found we live on top of a cave system.My home sits in the bottom of a basin so we get all the stormwater run off. I live inside city limits and cant get anyone to help, even walked the mayor around and pointed out several dangers. Guess when the neighbor hood is swallowed they will do something. Look out if you live in Lebanon Tennessee
Lori March 02, 2013 at 08:21 PM
I had a huge sink hole in my back yard a few years ago...half of my pool was in it couldn't find the pump it was so deep...Thank God it happened when we were sleeping and my girls and I weren't in OUR POOL!!
Lori March 02, 2013 at 08:22 PM
BTW I live in Ct....so sorry for this family...such a horrible freak thing to happen :(
Raul Florido March 02, 2013 at 10:36 PM
Something similar happened years ago when the wife heard a noise downstairs, sent her husband to investigate, he fell into a sinkhole in the living room and was killed. All floors are not constructed the same way. In Florida, they pour concrete on top of poured sand to make the slab without floor joists. I suspect that these homes might have been built over a landfill of garbage from Tampa and neighboring communities, but we probably will never be told if that happens to be true.
ritavon March 02, 2013 at 11:51 PM
Jen it is so refreshing to know there are contractors out there that have a concience. I hope you build in my community.
Contact: Brandon@Patch.com (Editor) March 03, 2013 at 12:07 PM
Folks, a lot of comments noted, and questions posed here, have been raised and addressed as well in subsequent Brandon Patch articles on the Seffner Sinkhole incident. I've added the links to this post and will continue to update them as time goes on.

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